Business / Financial Markets | TSE DATA & REPORT

Tokyo stocks end lower sixth straight session

JIJI

Stocks finished lower for the sixth straight trading session Monday amid heightening concerns over a prolonged U.S.-China trade war.

The Nikkei 225 average fell 153.64 points, or 0.72 percent, to close at 21,191.28. On Friday, it sank 57.21 points.

The Topix, which covers all first section issues on the Tokyo Stock Exchange, closed 8.28 points, or 0.53 percent, lower at 1,541.14 after a loss of 1.29 points Friday.

The Nikkei got off to a sluggish start after the United States and China failed to find a solution to their trade dispute in two days of ministerial negotiations in Washington through Friday.

While the key index temporarily dropped some 216 points right after the opening bell, the downside was limited by buybacks, according to brokers.

The Nikkei then moved in negative territory without direction for the remainder of the session as investors adopted a wait-and-see stance before the U.S. announced details about additional tariffs on all imports from China later Monday.

Yutaka Miura, senior technical analyst at Mizuho Securities Co., said Japanese investors were waiting to see how the Dow Jones Industrial Average reacts to the tariff announcement.

Most investors agree that the Dow will likely fall as the additional tariffs will hinder improvement in the global economy due to the expected large impact on China, according to Miura.

He said he expects the Dow to drop between 200 and 300 points in its Monday trading and the Nikkei to fall to around 21,000 on Tuesday.

On the other hand, a handful of market players expect the Dow to rise, noting that the additional tariffs are expected to have smaller effects on the U.S. than on China.

Meanwhile, Yoshihiko Tabei, chief analyst at Naito Securities Co., stressed that while the U.S.-China trade talks ended without an agreement, negotiations will continue.

Indicating that the future of the trade conflict will be left up to an envisioned summit between U.S. President Donald Trump and Chinese President Xi Jinping, Tabei said the Nikkei “will not climb unless the date of the summit is decided.”

Falling issues outnumbered rising ones 1,491 to 589 in the first section, while 60 issues were unchanged.

Volumes fell to 1.420 billion shares from 1.740 billion Friday.

Sumitomo Electric fell 1.15 percent after its group operating profit forecast for the business year until March 2020, announced Friday, fell short of the market’s expectations.

Restaurant operator Pepper Food Service plunged 9.16 percent after it released on Friday unfavorable group operating profit for the January-March quarter.

Other major losers included Taisho Pharmaceutical, clothing store chain Fast Retailing and chipmaking gear manufacturer Tokyo Electron.

On the other hand, mobile game app developer DeNA surged 14.44 percent, aided by the company’s plan announced Friday to repurchase its own shares, brokers said.

Toyo Tire enjoyed its first rise in nine trading days after hitting a year-to-date low Friday, due to investor belief that the negative trading factors have run out, according to brokers.