Business / Financial Markets | TSE DATA & REPORT

Tokyo stocks mixed without strong incentives

JIJI

Stocks were mixed on the Tokyo Stock Exchange on Thursday, as investors refrained from tilting their positions in the absence of powerful market-moving events.

The 225-issue Nikkei average edged up 11.74 points, or 0.05 percent, to end at 21,724.95, after gaining 207.90 points Wednesday.

Meanwhile, the Topix index of all first-section issues closed down 1.72 points, or 0.11 percent, at 1,620.05, following its 10.08-point rally the previous day.

Both indexes moved around Wednesday’s closing levels for most of the session amid a dearth of strong trading incentives.

Hopes for progress in the ongoing U.S.-China trade negotiations continued to underpin the market, but its topside was weighed on by selling to lock in profits, brokers said.

“The recent market ascent was so fast that players found it advisable to take profits for now,” said Mitsuo Shimizu, chief strategist at Aizawa Securities Co. The Nikkei gained over 670 points in the four sessions through Wednesday.

Buying sentiment receded, especially late in the morning, as the Nikkei came closer to a key technical resistance line around 21,900, Shimizu said.

The United States and China resumed their ministerial trade talks in Washington on Wednesday. Before the restart, a U.K. media report let investors grow hopeful about a successful end to the talks, leading to the sharp rebound in Tokyo that day.

On Thursday, however, the market reacted little to a Wall Street Journal report that U.S. President Donald Trump may announce plans for talks with his Chinese counterpart, Xi Jinping, later on the day, market sources said.

Investors could not be fully confident that the leaders would strike a deal to end the trade dispute between the two economic superpowers, they pointed out.

Falling issues outnumbered rising ones 1,158 to 873 in the TSE’s first section, while 109 issues were unchanged.

Volume decreased to 1.220 billion shares from the previous day’s 1.292 billion shares.

Electronic parts makers attracted purchases, with Taiyo Yuden Co. up 1.90 percent and TDK Corp. up 1.83 percent.

Drug store chain operator Sugi Holdings Co. jumped 3.51 percent on a reported rise in its consolidated net profit for the year that ended in February.

Other major winners included automaker Suzuki Motor Corp. and auto parts supplier Denso Corp.

By contrast, drug makers met with selling, with Shionogi & Co. falling 2.26 percent and Takeda Pharmaceutical Co. 1.18 percent.

Yakult Honsha Co. plunged 3.26 percent after JP Morgan Securities Japan Co. lowered its investment rating and target stock price for the lactic beverage-maker.

Also on the negative side were advertising agency Dentsu Inc. and technology giant Sony Corp.

In index futures trading on the Osaka Exchange, the key June contract on the Nikkei average dropped 20 points to end at 21,700.