Stocks lost further ground on the Tokyo Stock Exchange on Wednesday following an overnight plunge in U.S. equities.
The 225-issue Nikkei average fell 116.72 points, or 0.53 percent, to end at 21,919.33, the first close below 22,000 since Nov. 27. It plunged 538.71 points Tuesday.
The Topix index of all first-section issues finished down 8.71 points, or 0.53 percent, at 1,640.49, after retreating 39.85 points the previous day.
The Tokyo market opened sharply lower, with investor sentiment bruised by heavy sell-offs in U.S. equities traced to receding optimism over a U.S.-China trade deal and growing worries about a possible U.S. economic slowdown, market sources said. The Nikkei briefly dropped over 320 points soon after the opening bell.
But Tokyo stocks cut much of their earlier losses later thanks to buybacks, according to the sources.
Buying was held in check before the U.S. stock market closure on Wednesday to mourn for former U.S. President George H.W. Bush, who died on Friday, Yutaka Miura, senior technical analyst at Mizuho Securities Co., noted.
Ryuta Otsuka, strategist at the investment information department of Toyo Securities Co., said that Wednesday’s drop “was not as bad as I had expected.”
Many investors found it difficult to step up selling of Japanese stocks a day after their sharp falls, Otsuka indicated.
The market’s downside was supported by buying on dips as Japanese stocks were considered to be undervalued, according to an official of a midsize securities firm.
Falling issues outnumbered rising ones 1,469 to 590 in the TSE’s first section, while 60 issues were unchanged.
Volume decreased to 1.463 billion shares from 1.551 billion shares Tuesday.
JFE Holdings Inc. was downbeat after Mizuho Securities Co. revised down its stock price target for the steel-maker on Tuesday.
Also on the minus side were convenience store operator FamilyMart Uny Holdings Co. and cosmetics maker Shiseido Co.
By contrast, apparel shop operator Adastria Co. jumped 11.15 percent after announcing Tuesday that its sales in November grew 3.6 percent from a year before on a same-store basis.
Other major winners included drugmaker Eisai Co. and mobile phone carrier SoftBank Group Corp.
In index futures trading on the Osaka Exchange, the key December contract on the Nikkei average sagged 190 points to end at 21,880.
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