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Kyodo economic news summary -5-.

TOKYO, Sept. 24 Kyodo

---------- Industrial shipments drop 4.3% in 2002

TOKYO - Japan's industrial shipments in 2002 fell 4.3% from the previous year to 260.01 trillion yen for the second consecutive yearly drop, the Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry (METI) said Wednesday.

According to a METI survey covering manufacturing firms with 10 employees or more, the value of industrial shipments shrank in all industrial sectors except export-oriented transport machinery, which posted an increase for the third straight year, and rubber products.

---------- Osaka chamber to stimulate demand by delaying curtain time

OSAKA - The Osaka Chamber of Commerce and Industry said Wednesday it will kick off a project to delay the start time of theatrical performances, concerts and other local cultural entertainments on weekday evenings in a bid to stimulate demand among workers after work.

As the first step of the ''Osaka Night Culture'' project, the curtain time of comic storyteller Katsura Sanshi's performance will be delayed by 30 minutes to 7:30 p.m., starting Oct. 7.

---------- Bridgestone lowers earnings forecasts after factory fire

TOKYO - Tire manufacturer Bridgestone Corp. released a revised earnings outlook Wednesday containing the impact of the fire at its Tochigi factory, having lowered net and pretax profit forecasts for the year ending Dec. 31.

Bridgestone expects a group net profit of 78 billion yen against the 80 billion yen the company projected in August when it issued an earnings report for the January-June half. The fire broke out at the factory in Tochigi, northeast of Tokyo, on Sept. 8.

---------- Only 1.7% of cell phone users shopped online: survey

TOKYO - Only 1.7% of mobile phone users shopped online using their handsets during a recent one-month period, spending an average 4,921 yen each time, according to a survey released Wednesday.

The survey, compiled by the Mitsubishi Research Institute and Internet portal Infoseek Japan K.K., found 80% of the cell phone users who shopped online have also done so via their personal computers, with an average 9,652 yen spent.

---------- Margin stock buying in Japan up for 5th straight week

TOKYO - Margin buying on Japan's three major stock exchanges rose last week for the fifth straight week, the Tokyo Stock Exchange said Wednesday.

The balance of shares bought on credit from brokerages during the period came to 1,772.89 billion yen, up 54.63 billion yen from the previous week, according to data collected at the Tokyo, Osaka and Nagoya bourses.

---------- Cash bonds, futures prices fall on profit-taking

TOKYO - Prices of 10-year Japanese government bonds (JGBs) and JGB futures fell Wednesday as investors took profits from sharp gains Monday.

In interdealer trading, the yield on the key No. 253 10-year, 1.6% government bond rose 0.040 percentage point from Monday to 1.260%. Japan's financial markets were closed Tuesday for a national holiday.
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Publication:Japan Weekly Monitor
Date:Sep 29, 2003
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