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Toyota shares hit highest level this year

18 december 2012, 10:57
Toyota shares on Tuesday jumped to their highest level this year, boosted by a weaker yen and after a report said the firm was on track to be the world's biggest automaker in 2012, AFP reports.

The shares were up 1.93 percent at 3,690 yen by the morning break in Tokyo, passing a previous year high of 3,660 yen, with the unit under pressure after Japan's conservative opposition swept to victory in national elections Sunday.

The Japanese currency plunged to its lowest level for months against the dollar and euro on Monday, with the change in government likely to see Tokyo heap pressure on the Bank of Japan for more aggressive monetary easing.

Easing measures tend to weigh on the unit, and a weaker yen helps Japan's exporters by making their products more competitive overseas.

Separately, Japan's Asahi Shimbun newspaper reported Tuesday that Toyota was on track to be the biggest carmaker in the world this year, selling about 9.7 million vehicles.

This was despite a territorial spat with China that has weighed on Japan-brand sales in the lucrative Chinese market.

Company figures showed Toyota, whose brands include Lexus, Daihatsu and Hino, topped the global carmakers' table in the first half of 2012, accelerating past General Motors and Volkswagen.

Toyota lost the title last year -- a spot it had held between 2008 and 2010 -- following a slump in production and sales owing to Japan's March 11 quake-tsunami disaster, floods in Thailand and the strong yen.

US-based GM, which sold about nine million vehicles last year, was the world's biggest carmaker followed by Germany's Volkswagen with more than eight million vehicles sold. Toyota sold 7.95 million vehicles.

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