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Tokyo stocks end marginally lower in directionless trading

JIJI

Stocks closed marginally lower Wednesday in directionless trading on the Tokyo Stock Exchange.

The 225-issue Nikkei average lost 18.43 points, or 0.08 percent, to end at 22,644.31, after climbing 155.42 points on Tuesday.

The Topix fell 1.34 points, or 0.08 percent, to 1,744.71. It had advanced 13.15 points the previous day.

Earlier gains — backed by Tuesday’s advance on Wall Street, and China’s trade data on Wednesday that showed both exports and imports expanded in July — were wiped out by selling on a rally, market sources said.

Stocks failed to maintain their initial strength as “institutional investors were absent in the summer holiday season,” said Hiroaki Hiwada, strategist at Toyo Securities Co.

Speculative selling linked to Friday’s special quotation fixing to settle August index options contracts pushed down the stock indexes, an official at a midsize securities firm said.

Buying was held in check as market participants are increasingly cautious ahead of the launch of new ministerial trade talks between Japan and the United States, set for Thursday in Washington, the official pointed out.

Rising issues outnumbered falling ones 1,039 to 984 in the TSE’s first section, while 81 issues were unchanged.

Volume grew to 1.449 billion shares from 1.324 billion shares on Tuesday.

Shiseido fell 4.41 percent after the cosmetics-maker’s consolidated operating profit forecast for this year fell short of analysts’ consensus estimate, brokers said.

Beverage producer Kirin Holdings closed 5.91 percent lower on its disappointing January-June results released Tuesday.

Also on the minus side were Tokai Carbon and game-maker KLab.

By contrast, air conditioner firm Daikin ended 3.39 percent higher after reporting Tuesday an 11.7 percent rise in consolidated operating profit for April-June.

Nikon climbed 9.38 percent a day after releasing strong April-June earnings and robust forecasts for the full year through March 2019.

In index futures trading on the Osaka Exchange, the key September contract on the Nikkei average was unchanged at 22,630.