Business / Financial Markets | TSE DATA & REPORT

Nikkei falls further on yen's rise against the dollar

JIJI

The benchmark Nikkei average lost further ground on the Tokyo Stock Exchange on Friday, bruised by the yen’s rise against the dollar.

The 225-issue Nikkei average sagged 239.08 points, or 1.13 percent, to end at 20,900.63. On Thursday, the index inched down 4.77 points.

The Topix index of all first-section issues was down 12.52 points, or 0.79 percent, at 1,577.29. It edged up 0.48 point the previous day.

The U.S. Dow Jones industrial average’s retreat on Thursday also battered investor sentiment, sending the Nikkei below 21,000 soon after the opening bell, market sources said.

The yen’s strength prompted futures-linked selling of Japanese stocks, said Hiroaki Kuramochi, chief market analyst at Saxo Bank Securities Ltd.

“It’s difficult to recover 21,000” unless the dollar rises above ¥111 again, Kuramochi said of the Nikkei.

“A sense of achievement spread” among investors after the stock market’s sharp advance earlier this week, an official of an asset management firm said.

Ryuta Otsuka, strategist at the investment information department of Toyo Securities Co., indicated that position-adjustment selling ahead of the weekend partly contributed to Friday’s drop.

Falling issues outnumbered rising ones 1,311 to 726 in the TSE’s first section, while 92 issues were unchanged.

Volume fell to 1.277 billion shares from Thursday’s 1.345 billion shares.

Insurer Dai-ichi Life closed 4.66 percent lower on its dismal April-December earnings, brokers said.

Yokohama Rubber was downbeat as its operating profit forecast for the year through December 2019 fell short of market consensus, brokers said.

Other major losers included clothing retailer Fast Retailing and technology conglomerate SoftBank Group.

By contrast, drugmaker Shionogi, daily goods manufacturer Kao and oil company Showa Shell attracted purchases.

In index futures trading on the Osaka Exchange, the key March contract on the Nikkei average tumbled 290 points to 20,900.