Business / Financial Markets | TSE DATA & REPORT

Nikkei falls back on selling of mainstay issues

JIJI

The benchmark Nikkei average dropped on the Tokyo Stock Exchange on Thursday, dragged down by the weakness of heavily weighted component issues.

The 225-issue Nikkei average lost 27.38 points, or 0.12 percent, to end at 22,586.87, after rising 103.77 points Wednesday.

But the Topix index of all first-section issues added 12.30 points, or 0.7 percent, to 1,765.78, following a 6.62 point gain the previous day.

Declines in drugmaker Eisai Co., mobile phone carrier Softbank Group Corp., clothing retailer Fast Retailing Co. and industrial robot manufacturer Fanuc Corp. pushed down the Nikkei by over 100 points.

But investor sentiment improved in the Tokyo market, with concerns over U.S.-Europe trade friction easing to some extent following reports of some positive results from the summit between U.S. President Donald Trump and European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker on Wednesday, brokers said.

“The Nikkei was lower, but as a whole, the Tokyo market was actually bullish today,” a securities firm official said, pointing to an overwhelming number of rising issues.

Gainers far outnumbered losers 1,733 to 309 in the TSE’s first section, while 61 issues were unchanged.

But the official also said selling hit some of the Nikkei’s mainstay component issues following a media report that the Bank of Japan may decide to reduce purchases of exchange-traded funds linked to the key index at its two-day policy-setting meeting from Monday.

Business results released by some major Japanese companies amid an earnings reporting season have been largely brisk so far, but some investors refrained from active buying to confirm more corporate scorecards, said Mitsuo Shimizu, chief strategist at Aizawa Securities Co.

Trading volume increased to 1.252 billion shares from 1.138 billion shares Wednesday.

Eisai nose-dived 10.09 percent after investors were disappointed with detailed results, announced Thursday, of a joint clinical trial for a new drug for Alzheimer’s disease between the drugmaker and its U.S. research partner Biogen Inc.

Also on the minus side were motor manufacturer Nidec Corp. and shipping firm Nippon Yusen KK.

On the other hand, semiconductor-related Advantest Corp. jumped 6.28 percent after announcing strong consolidated earnings for April-June on Wednesday. Industry peers Tokyo Electron, Disco Corp. and Screen Holdings Co. attracted purchases apparently inspired by Advantest’s sharp rise.

Other major winners included free messaging app provider Line Corp. and oil company Inpex Corp.

In index futures trading on the Osaka Exchange, the key September contract on the Nikkei average fell 40 points to end at 22,560.

Coronavirus banner