TSE’s winning streak ends at seven

JIJI

Stocks turned sharply lower Tuesday, hit by a wave of selling to cash in gains after a seven-session rally.

The Nikkei 225 average tumbled 538.71 points, or 2.39 percent, to end at 22,036.05 after gaining 223.70 points Monday.

The Topix, which covers all first-section issues on the Tokyo Stock Exchange, finished 39.85 points, or 2.36 percent, lower at 1,649.20. It rose 21.60 points Monday.

Profit-taking took the upper hand amid a dearth of major trading incentives, market sources said.

In afternoon trading, the market accelerated its downswing in line with the yen’s strengthening against the dollar.

“Profit-taking easily emerged after the Nikkei gained over 1,000 points at a rapid pace” over the last seven sessions through Monday, said Yoshihiko Tabei, chief analyst at Naito Securities Co.

Chihiro Ota, general manager for investment research and investor services at SMBC Nikko Securities Inc., stressed that the market tumbled “in the absence of buyers.”

Buying was held in check due to the yen’s strength, Ota noted.

An official of an asset management company indicated that the market was dragged down by futures-led selling.

Falling issues far outnumbered rising ones 1,960 to 125 in the TSE’s first section, while 34 issues were unchanged.

Volume grew to 1.551 billion shares from 1.340 billion Monday.

Game maker Nintendo closed 5.28 percent lower after its recent surge.

Beverage producer Itoen dived 5.98 percent due to selling prompted by its dismal group operating and net profits for the six months through October, brokers said.

Other major losers included clothing retailer Fast Retailing and semiconductor-related Tokyo Electron.

By contrast, precision equipment producer V-Technology attracted purchases after announcing a share buyback plan Monday.

Camera maker Konica Minolta was among a handful of gainers.