/ |

Tokyo stocks fall for third day


Stocks extended their losing streak to a third session on the Tokyo Stock Exchange Wednesday, pressured by selling following Wall Street’s setback and the yen’s ascent particularly against the dollar.

The 225-issue Nikkei average lost 140.95 points, or 0.84 percent, to end at 16,642.20. On Tuesday, the key market gauge fell 128.17 points.

The TOPIX index of all first-section issues slumped 15.39 points, or 1.14 percent, to close at 1,332.33, after falling 14.18 points the previous day.

Tokyo stocks met with heavy selling after the Dow Jones industrial average fell for the first time in six sessions on heightened wariness over the Chinese economy’s outlook and a drop in crude oil prices.

The Nikkei average tumbled over 280 points in midmorning trading after the yen firmed against the dollar, brokers said.

In the afternoon, stocks trimmed some losses, bolstered by buybacks and short covering after the dollar rose back slightly, brokers said.

Despite a dearth of positive incentives, investors were willing to buy on dips notably in the afternoon, brokers said.

“The Nikkei’s downside was underpinned by its 25-day moving average,” which stood at 16,383.02 as of Tuesday, said Nobuyuki Fujimoto, market analyst at SBI Securities Co.

In addition, “sellers could not move to sell stocks” without seeing the results of the European Central Bank’s board meeting on Thursday, Fujimoto said.

There are persistent expectations that the ECB will take additional easing measures at the meeting after ECB President Mario Draghi recently reiterated the possibility of such action, brokers said.

Falling issues outnumbered rising ones 1,477 to 372 in the TSE’s first section, while 94 issues were unchanged.

Volume decreased to 2,249 million shares from Tuesday’s 2,546 million shares.

China-related names posted hefty losses after concerns about the world’s second largest economy were fueled by Tuesday’s data that showed tumbling exports and imports. Among them were steelmakers JFE Holdings and Kobe Steel, as well as shipping firms Kawasaki Kisen, Mitsui O.S.K. Lines and Nippon Yusen.

Automakers Toyota and Nissan and electronics manufactures Toshiba and Hitachi also lost ground due to the stronger yen.

By contrast, NTT Docomo surged 2.79 percent after Mizuho Securities raised its investment rating on the telecommunications carrier, brokers said. Peers KDDI and NTT were also upbeat.

Camera maker Canon, semiconductor-related Tokyo Electron and retailer Seven & i Holdings were among other winners.

In index futures trading on the Osaka Exchange, the key March contract on the Nikkei average slumped 170 points to close at 16,630.