* As of Feb 10, cos' pretax profit rose 9 pct on year -
* Exporters lose ground
By Ayai Tomisawa
TOKYO, Feb 16 Japanese stocks retreated on
Thursday morning as a pause in the weakening of the yen gave
investors an excuse to book profits, though financials extended
their outperformance on rising U.S. yields.
The Nikkei share average fell 0.7 percent to
19,310.02 in midmorning trade after scaling near six-week highs
earlier this week.
Exporters lost ground as the dollar took a breather after
rallying in the wake of upbeat U.S. economic data, which had
briefly set off market talk of a possible rate hike by the U.S.
Federal Reserve at next month's meeting.
Toyota Motor Corp dropped 0.9 percent, Tokyo
Electron Ltd tumbled 2.7 percent and Daikin Industries
At 0405 GMT, the dollar was down 0.3 percent at 113.84 yen
"After the market rose recently, a correction is natural,
but the mid-term outlook isn't bad thanks to strong earnings
results," said Nobuhiko Kuramochi, a strategist at Mizuho
As of Feb. 10, 1,175 companies excluding financials which
reported their third-quarter earnings posted an average of 9
percent rise in its pre-tax profit on the year, according to
Mizuho Securities. For the full year ending March, the companies
expect a 5.5 percent fall in their pre-tax profits, compared to
a previously forecast 8.7 percent fall, Mizuho said.
Financial stocks bucked the weakness and tracked their U.S.
peers after benchmark Treasury yields rose to 2-1/2-week highs
on Wednesday, helped along by data showing accelerating U.S.
inflation last month.
Mitsubishi UFJ Financial Group rose 0.2 percent and
Sumitomo Mitsui Financial Group gained 0.1 percent.
Tokio Marine added 1.1 percent while Sompo Holdings
advanced 0.6 percent.
The broader Topix dropped 0.5 percent to 1,546.43
and the JPX-Nikkei Index 400 shed 0.5 percent to
(Editing by Shri Navaratnam)