TOKYO, April 12 (Reuters) - Japanese shares fell on Monday,
dragged down by a sharp drop in Yaskawa Electric after the
industry bellwether's earnings failed to meet the market's high
Nikkei average fell 0.18% to 29,715.17. It has been
in a holding pattern after hitting a 30-and-a-half-year high in
mid-February, with a break of either its March 18 high of 30,485
or March 24 low of 28,379 seen as needed for a new trend to
The broader Topix was up 0.08% at 1,961.13.
Yaskawa Electric, a robot maker seen as a leading
indicator on Japanese manufacturers' earnings trend, dropped
6.3% after its earnings in the quarter to February fell short of
investors' strong expectations.
The company said it expects 54.5% increase in its operating
profits to 42 billion yen ($383.67 million) in the current
financial year, almost in line with analysts' forecast of 43
"Markets' expectations (on Yaskawa) had risen a bit too much
before the actual announcement, a familiar pattern with Japanese
earnings. It makes you wonder what to do as the earning season
is about to begin," said Masato Kogure, group leader of
execution at Tokai Tokyo Securities.
Aeon lost 5.1%, after the supermarket chain
operator's quarterly earnings disappointed investors.
More retailers will release their earnings this week while
the country's top companies' results will start later this
Toshiba rose 6.1% after he Nikkei financial daily
said late Friday state-backed Japan Investment Corp (JIC) and
the Development Bank of Japan (DBJ) would join $20 billion
takeover bid by CVC Capital Partners.
Toshiba chairman said CVC's offer to take the company
private was contingent on various regulatory approval.
Small golf shaft maker Graphite Design jumped
16.6%, after Hideki Matsuyama become the first Japanese man to
win a major championship with a Masters victory at Augusta
Golf-related service firm Value Golf gained 10.8%.
($1 = 109.4700 yen)
(Reporting by Hideyuki Sano; Editing by Rashmi Aich)