Business / Financial Markets | TSE DATA & REPORT

Tokyo stocks end lower in absence of buying incentives

JIJI

Stocks closed lower on the Tokyo Stock Exchange Monday amid a dearth of major buying incentives.

The 225-issue Nikkei average lost 34.80 points, or 0.16 percent, to end at 21,149.80, the lowest finish since March 28. On Friday, the key market gauge shed 84.13 points.

The Topix index of all first-section issues closed down 6.45 points, or 0.40 percent, at 1,589.56, after retreating 4.91 points the previous trading day.

The Nikkei average gained over 280 points briefly in early trading, backed by buying on dips and buybacks, market sources said.

But the closely watched index shed the gains later due to selling pressure that built up in line with falls in Chinese stock prices and closed the morning session lower, according to the sources.

In afternoon trading, stocks showed directionless movements amid a dearth of major buying incentives.

Market players “took a wait-and-see stance” ahead of the release later this week of earnings reports from major Japanese companies, said Masahiro Ichikawa, senior strategist at Sumitomo Mitsui Asset Management Co.

Ryuta Otsuka, strategist at the investment information department of Toyo Securities Co., said that “continued selling apparently by foreign investors” pushed down the key market gauges.

Otsuka also suggested that there seems to have been exchange-traded fund purchases by the Bank of Japan in the afternoon.

“Stocks have been oversold” recently, Otsuka said, noting that the market is ready to rebound at any time now.

Falling issues far outnumbered rising ones 1,402 to 638 in the TSE’s first section, while 69 issues were unchanged.

Volume dropped to 1.37 billion shares from 1.70 billion shares on Friday.

Office equipment manufacturer Ricoh tumbled 10.61 percent as its operating profit estimate for the year through March 2019, announced on Friday, was far short of market expectations, brokers said.

Other major losers included mobile phone carrier SoftBank Group and employment information service firm Recruit Holdings.

By contrast, semiconductor-related Shin-Etsu Chemical closed 8.01 percent higher after revising up on Friday its operating profit forecast for the year through March 2019 to ¥390 billion from ¥360 billion.

Also on the plus side were industrial robot producer Fanuc and clothing store chain operator Fast Retailing.

In index futures trading on the Osaka Exchange, the key December contract on the Nikkei average sagged 130 points to end at 21,100.

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