Business / Financial Markets | TSE DATA & REPORT

Nikkei edges lower over concerns about new U.S. metals tariffs

JIJI

The Nikkei average edged slightly lower on the Tokyo Stock Exchange on Friday, hurt by concerns over trade friction between the United States and other major economies.

The benchmark 225-issue Nikkei average lost 30.47 points, or 0.14 percent, to end at 22,171.35. On Thursday, the key market gauge gained 183.30 points.

But the Topix index of all first-section issues climbed 1.72 points, or 0.10 percent, to 1,749.17, after rising 11.32 points the previous day.

The Tokyo market opened weaker after poor performances of U.S. and European equities Thursday, which were dampened by new U.S. tariffs on steel and aluminum imports from the European Union and other major economies announced by the administration of President Donald Trump on Thursday.

But both market indexes gained upward momentum and popped into positive territory later in the morning thanks to buying of mainstay issues and the yen’s weakening against the dollar, brokers said.

The Nikkei lost steam in the afternoon and fluctuated around Thursday’s closing level before ending marginally lower.

Fears of more widespread protectionism stemming from the new U.S. tariffs weighed on the market, said Masahiro Ichikawa, senior strategist at Sumitomo Mitsui Asset Management Co.

Still, the market’s downside was partly limited thanks to receding concerns over political uncertainty in Italy, Ichikawa also said.

Active buying was held in check ahead of the release later Friday of the U.S. government’s closely watched jobs data for May, said Hiroaki Hiwada, strategist at Toyo Securities Co.

Rising issues outnumbered falling ones 1,127 to 884 in the TSE’s first section, while 73 issues were unchanged.

Volume decreased to 1.6 billion shares from 2.2 billion Thursday.

Drugmaker Astellas gained 1.77 percent a day after announcing plans to buy back its own shares.

Electronics parts producer TDK rose 1.64 percent after Morgan Stanley MUFG Securities Co. revised up its investment rating and stock target price for the company Thursday, brokers said.

Automaker Toyota also gained ground.

On the other hand, Mitsui Chemicals and Mitsubishi Chemical Holdings were downbeat after Nomura Securities Co. revised down its investment ratings and stock target prices for the two companies, market sources said.

Among other notable losers were game-maker Nintendo and clothing retailer Fast Retailing.

In index futures trading on the Osaka Exchange, the key June contract on the Nikkei average added 30 points to end at 22,220.