• Bloomberg

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The nation’s biggest trading companies, stalwarts of the economy, expect to book combined writedowns of at least ¥970 billion ($8.6 billion) as ill-timed investments in commodities ranging from shale gas to copper mines erode profitability.

The writedowns for the year ending March underscore the predicament the sogo shosha (general trading houses) find themselves in after investing heavily in metals and energy at the height of the commodities boom, only to see prices tumble.

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