Business / Financial Markets | TSE DATA & REPORT

Nikkei snaps three-day winning streak, dragged down by major stocks

JIJI

The Nikkei 225 average fell for the first time in four sessions Tuesday, dampened by mainstay issues’ poor performances.

The key index lost 39.32 points, or 0.19 percent, to end at 20,844.45 after rising 95.38 points Monday.

Meanwhile, the Topix, which covers all first-section issues on the Tokyo Stock Exchange, rose 1.55 points, or 0.10 percent, to close at 1,582.88. It climbed 16.70 points Monday.

Although stocks surged after the opening bell in the wake of Wall Street’s continued advance, the market’s topside soon grew heavy due to a dearth of strong buying incentives, brokers said.

The Topix remained on the sunny side almost throughout the day. But the Nikkei sank into negative territory after fluctuating around the previous day’s closing level until midafternoon.

The key price gauge was forced to snap its three-day winning streak by falls in major issues, particularly Fast Retailing, its heavily weighted component issue, brokers said.

Fast Retailing alone pushed the Nikkei lower by over 50 points, they pointed out.

“Active trading was held in check ahead of U.S. President Donald Trump’s State of the Union address,” said Mitsuo Shimizu, chief strategist at Aizawa Securities Co.

Investors were also waiting for upcoming earning reports, he added.

The yen’s weakening against the dollar and receding concerns over the course of the U.S. economy have been providing support to the market lately, brokers said.

But given the patchy earnings situations reported by major firms so far, it won’t be easy for the Nikkei to retake 21,000 this week, a market source said.

Rising issues outnumbered falling ones 1,325 to 730 in the first section, while 72 issues were unchanged.

Volume decreased to 1.228 billion shares from 1.328 billion Monday.

Kao gained 2.78 percent on a rosy operating profit forecast for the year to next December.

Itochu jumped 5.02 percent after announcing a share buyback plan.

Other major winners included Fanuc and Shiseido.

Fast Retailing slumped 2.85 percent due to a decline in same-store sales at its Uniqlo clothing chain in January.

Panasonic turned down 2.45 percent after lowering its earnings forecasts for the current business year to March.

Astellas and KDDI were also shunned.