Japanese stocks fell as a commodities slump deepened and poor earnings in the U.S. heightened investor concerns ahead of the start to Japan’s earnings season.
The Topix index dropped 0.7 percent to 1,644.60 as of 9:01 a.m. in Tokyo, with all but two of its 33 industry groups declining, after the measure fell 0.4 percent last week. The Nikkei 225 Stock Average lost 0.7 percent to 20,401.27. Oil held losses in a bear market as a rebound in U.S. drilling added to signs producers will keep pumping amid a global glut. Weak earnings in the U.S. have soured sentiment as investors await a slew of financial reports this week from Japanese companies such as Fanuc Corp., Sony Corp. and NTT Docomo Inc.
The commodities collapse that has forced crude oil into a bear market and sent gold to a five-year low isn’t showing any signs of slowing. Oil futures were little changed in New York after capping a 5.4 percent decline last week. Gold futures in New York are poised for the biggest monthly loss in two years.
The U.S. earnings season has been spotty so far, with sluggish demand overseas damping returns for multinational companies at the same time as the dollar has strengthened to near the highest level since April. From Apple Inc. to Caterpillar Inc. and Microsoft Corp., a parade of blue-chip companies have disappointed investors in the past two weeks.
Futures on the Standard & Poor’s 500 Index slid less than 0.1 percent after the underlying U.S. measure lost 1.1 percent on Friday. Shares fell as commodities slumped and the dollar strengthened amid fresh signs of a slowdown in China and the U.S. housing market.