Business / Financial Markets

After plunge, Tokyo stocks expected to remain unstable in coming week

JIJI

Tokyo stocks are expected to remain unstable next week, with persistent concerns over a slowdown in the global economy likely to continue to grip the market, observers have said.

On Friday, the first trading day of 2019 after the New Year’s holidays, the Nikkei tumbled 452.81 points, or 2.26 percent, to close at 19,561.96 on the Tokyo Stock Exchange.

A sharply stronger yen and an overnight slump in U.S. equities spurred heavy selling. Adding to the bearish sentiment were weak economic data from China and the United States, as well as U.S. technology heavyweight Apple Inc.’s downward revision to its October-December sales outlook, brokers said.

The Nikkei is expected to move between 19,000 and 20,500 next week, analysts and brokers said.

Masayuki Otani, chief market analyst at Securities Japan Inc., said he expects the Tokyo market to move on a “cautious” note.

If progress is made at U.S.-China vice ministerial trade talks early next week to resolve friction between the world’s two largest economies, Tokyo stocks may rally, Otani said.

“The market may stage some kind of rebound after being oversold, but I don’t expect investors to chase higher ground” amid nagging concerns over a global economic slowdown, an official of a midsize securities firm said.

Meanwhile, Tomoaki Fujii, head of the investment research division at Akatsuki Securities Inc., said he expects stocks to regain some footing next week, as long as no fresh negative factors emerge in the United States.

The Nikkei’s downside will likely be supported by the price-book value ratio line of 1.0, which stands at 19,240 for the index, according to Fujii.