Business / Financial Markets | TSE DATA & REPORT

Tokyo stocks fall further on profit-taking

JIJI

Stocks lost further ground on the Tokyo Stock Exchange on Thursday, weighed down by selling to lock in profits following the recent surge.

The Nikkei 225 shed 135.34 points, or 0.56 percent, to end at 23,975.62, slipping below the 24,000 line for the first time in a week. On Wednesday, it sagged 159.66 points.

The Topix closed down 1.54 points, or 0.09 percent, at 1,801.19, after falling 21.30 points the previous day.

The Nikkei sank into negative territory in midmorning trading, after gaining over 130 points as soon as the market opened following Wall Street’s advance Wednesday.

The key market yardstick remained in negative territory throughout the afternoon session.

The broader Topix moved on the sunny side for most of Thursday’s session thanks to strong performances of financial issues, according to the sources.

Masahiro Ichikawa, senior strategist at Sumitomo Mitsui Asset Management Co., said that the market experienced “a speed correction.”

The market was hit by futures-led selling following the recent rapid advance backed by futures-linked purchases, Ichikawa noted.

“There is still a sense of overheating” in the market after Wednesday’s retreat, an official at a bank-affiliated securities firm pointed out.

Ichikawa said the market’s downside “was supported by the yen’s drop” versus the dollar.

Despite the falls of the key indexes, rising issues outnumbered falling ones 1,236 to 800 in the TSE’s first section, while 74 issues were unchanged.

Volume increased to 1.590 billion shares from Wednesday’s 1.463 billion shares.

Drug-maker Shionogi met with selling to cash in after recent gains.

Restaurant chain operator Toridoll Holdings Corp. was downbeat, after announcing Wednesday that its sales in September went down 7.4 percent from a year before on a same-store basis.

Clothing-retailer Fast Retailing Co. and cosmetics-maker Shiseido Co. were among other major losers.

By contrast, financial names — including mega-bank groups Mitsubishi UFJ Financial Group Inc., Sumitomo Mitsui Financial Group Inc. and Mizuho Financial Group Inc., and insurers Dai-ichi Life Holdings Inc. and Tokio Marine Holdings Inc. — were upbeat after a rise in long-term interest rates.

Also on the plus side were automaker Toyota Motor Corp. and mobile phone-carrier SoftBank Group.

In index futures trading on the Osaka Exchange, the key December contract on the Nikkei average dropped 220 points to 23,920.