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Tokyo investors were beginning to feel nauseous Thursday from the roller
coaster fluctuations on the Tokyo Stock Exchange as the Nikkei average
slipped nearly 3 percent. It closed the day at 16,364.94, down 492.10
points.

The market lost most of the previous day’s gains of 544.35, but the drop
was smaller than the 725.67-point fall Tuesday triggered by the New York
stock crisis. All told, Thursday’s close was a mere 52 points above the
Tuesday close of 16,312.69, the lowest since July 1995. The broader-based
Topix index, which covers all issues on the first section of the TSE,
closed Thursday at 1,275.21, down 31.58 points.

Lingering bearish sentiment underlined by the poor domestic economic
outlook returned to dominate the market after Wednesday’s rebound.
Investors remain skittish, swayed by the big rises and falls this week and
not knowing for sure which way the market is headed. On Thursday, they
moved to take profits on major issues, traders said.

“Market players found out they bought more than they should have
yesterday. Today, they had no incentives to keep purchasing,” said Futoshi
Yoshimura, co-chief of the equity dealing department at Schroders Japan Ltd.

The downward momentum was fueled by the plunge in Standard & Poor’s 500
stock index futures in Asia.

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