The benchmark Nikkei average lost further ground on the Tokyo Stock Exchange Thursday, pressured by the yen’s strengthening against the dollar.
The 225-issue Nikkei average gave up 77.77 points, or 0.33 percent, to end at 23,710.43, after falling 61.79 points on Wednesday.
The Topix index of all first-section issues closed down 4.02 points, or 0.21 percent, at 1,888.09, after a gain of 2.82 points.
Stocks were hurt as the yen rose against the dollar on a reports that China is considering slowing or halting U.S. government bond purchases, brokers said.
Profit-taking grew dominant after stocks surged in the first days of 2018, market sources said.
The stock market “entered a correction phase,” said Hideyuki Suzuki, head of the investment market research department at SBI Securities Co.
Suzuki indicated that a sense of caution over precariously high stock prices has spread since the Nikkei rose close to the psychological threshold of 24,000 on Tuesday.
Expectations for the Bank of Japan’s buying of exchange-traded funds and purchases on declines underpinned the market’s downside, said Hiroaki Hiwada, strategist at Toyo Securities Co.
The market “is not overheating” in view of brisk earnings by Japanese firms, Hiwada said.
Falling issues slightly outnumbered rising ones 986 to 976 in the TSE’s first section, while 101 issues were unchanged.
Volume totaled 1.58 billion shares, compared with 1.59 billion shares on Wednesday.
The stronger yen pushed down exporters such as Toyota, Honda, Hitachi, Panasonic and Kyocera.
Lawson lost 2.11 percent after the convenience store operator on Wednesday reported a 5.9 percent decline in March-November consolidated operating profit from a year before, brokers said.
Colopl tumbled 18.37 percent after the mobile game developer said Wednesday that it has been sued by game giant Nintendo over alleged patent infringement.
By contrast, ABC-Mart jumped 2.56 percent after the footwear shop operator said Wednesday its consolidated operating profit in March-November rose 2.1 percent from a year before.
Yamato Holdings was up 3.73 percent on a report that the parcel delivery firm’s consolidated operating profit in October-December is seen to have grown 8 percent from a year earlier, brokers said.
In index futures trading on the Osaka Exchange, the key March contract on the Nikkei average dropped 150 points to 23,650.