Yes I'm afraid so. The only point of interest seems to be when will it stretch to become a 21 year one. But seriously folks, amidst all the talk that the Japan bubble burst at the end of the 80's it's easy to forget that during the last two years - effectively since Koizumi came to office to put things straight - the Nikkei is down 45%. If there is such a thing as a wealth effect, then this is indeed another enormous deflation in asset values, and still it continues.... It is extremely difficult in the face of this to understand how some commentators (like Morgan Stanley's Robert Alan Feldman, or, in his way, Richard Katz) can continue to be so upbeat on the 'reform' possibilities: by the way I'm in the proces of reading Katz's Japanese Phoenix he makes some interesting points and I'l try and blog something next week.
Tokyo shares fell below their recent 20-year low on Friday as investors reacted with dismay to Sony?s failure to reach its full year profit target. Sony shares were untraded as sell orders piled up at Y3,220, 13 per cent below the stock?s Thursday closing price and at the Tokyo exchange?s limit for a single day fall. The Nikkei average was down almost 2.2 per cent at 7,685.28 by midday, with the Topix index off 1.6 per cent at 781.92. Sony announced on Thursday that it made a loss of Y111.1bn in the three months to March, and fell well short of its profit target for the full year. Some analysts expressed disappointment that the media and electronics giant had not revised its forecast down as it became clear sales at its electronics division were falling away. The gloom surrounding the technology bellwether sent all technology exporters lower. NEC was down 2.3 per cent at Y346 after the company on Thursday it stayed in the red for a second consecutive year, but narrowed its net loss to Y24.5bn and forecast a profit of Y30bn for the coming year. Toshiba, which is set to announce full year results after the market close on Friday, tumbled 4.3 per cent to Y309. Matsushita, the electronics maker behind the Panasonic brand, also dropped 4.3 per cent, to Y885, ahead of reporting on Monday.The motor industry was not immune to the darkening sentiment, with Mitsubishi Motor falling 5 per cent to Y245 even though the company on Thursday reported record net profit of Y38bn thanks to successful restructuring. Honda was down 5.2 per cent to Y3,650 ahead of its earnings report due after the market close.
Source: Financial Times