Stocks lost ground on the Tokyo Stock Exchange on Thursday following selling to take advantage of higher share prices amid a dearth of fresh buying incentives.
The 225-issue Nikkei average lost 122.78 points, or 0.59 percent, to end at 20,751.28, after rising 29.61 points on Wednesday.
The Topix index of all first-section issues finished down 13.10 points, or 0.83 percent, at 1,569.03. It shed 0.75 point the previous day.
The Tokyo market came under selling pressure from the outset, after the Dow Jones industrial average snapped its three-day winning streak on the New York Stock Exchange on Wednesday. The Nikkei average lost over 200 points in the morning.
Both the Nikkei and Topix remained in negative territory throughout the session, as profit-taking and position-squaring selling took the upper hand, brokers said.
“Short-term players moved to the sell-side after seeing the Nikkei’s failure to surpass 21,000 in recent sessions,” said Ryuta Otsuka, strategist at the investment information department of Toyo Securities Co.
Given a series of downward revisions in earnings forecasts by major companies, investors found it difficult to step up buying, Otsuka added.
Hiroaki Kuramochi, chief market analyst at Saxo Bank Securities Ltd., pointed out that in the afternoon the market’s downside was supported by speculation about the Bank of Japan’s purchase of exchange-traded funds.
Falling issues trounced rising ones 1,575 to 489 in the TSE’s first section, while 63 issues were unchanged.
Volume stood flat at 1.250 billion shares.
Sony slumped 2.60 percent following its lowering of sales and profit estimates for the current business year to March.
Chemical producer Asahi Kasei lost 4.79 percent due to its profit warning for the same year.
Other major losers included automaker Toyota and clothing store chain operator Fast Retailing.
Meanwhile, technology conglomerate SoftBank Group shot up 17.73 percent on buying triggered by its announcement of an own-share buyback plan.
Chipmaking gear manufacturers Tokyo Electron, Screen and Disco rose by 1.70 percent, 3.73 percent and 2.22 percent, respectively, thanks to a leading U.S. semiconductor producer’s surge on Wall Street.
Among other winners were drugmaker Takeda and cosmetics maker Shiseido.
In index futures trading on the Osaka Exchange, the key March contract on the Nikkei average sagged 150 points to end at 20,720.