The Nikkei 225 average fell Tuesday due to worries about an intensifying U.S.-China trade dispute, extending its losing streak to a seventh session for the first time in three years and a month.
The key gauge lost 124.05 points, or 0.59 percent, to end at 21,067.23 after briefly sinking below 21,000. The Nikkei last fell for seven consecutive sessions in the period to April 6, 2016. On Monday, the Nikkei dropped 153.64 points.
The Topix, which covers all first-section issues on the Tokyo Stock Exchange, closed down 6.16 points, or 0.40 percent, at 1,534.98 following an 8.28-point slump Monday.
The market opened sharply lower, with the Nikkei briefly plunging more than 400 points to slip below the 21,000 line for the first time since March 28, in the wake of a tumble in U.S. equities overnight amid an escalation of the U.S.-China trade row.
The Chinese government announced Monday that it will raise tariffs on U.S. products to up to 25 percent on June 1 in retaliation for last week’s tariff hike by the United States. Also on Monday, the United States announced details of additional tariffs on all imports from China.
The Nikkei gradually cut losses but remained in negative territory throughout Tuesday.
Ryuta Otsuka, strategist at the investment information department of Toyo Securities Co., said the Nikkei’s resilience came after investors repurchased stocks in response to U.S. President Donald Trump’s statement, at a dinner party at the White House on Monday, that he thinks U.S.-China trade negotiations will be successful.
Otsuka also noted that the Nikkei was “supported by apparent purchases of exchange-traded funds by the Bank of Japan.”
The index, however, failed to end on the plus side due to an absence of news eagerly awaited by investors, such as on a resolution to the U.S.-China trade war, Otsuka said.
An official of a bank-affiliated securities firm said the Nikkei’s downside was limited as Shanghai stocks fell only slightly, with a view spreading among Chinese investors that the United States and China will reach a trade agreement.
Falling issues outnumbered rising ones 1,139 to 931 in the first section, while 70 issues were unchanged.
Volumes increased to 1.733 billion shares from 1.420 billion Monday.
Tire company Bridgestone suffered a decline of 2.95 percent. Brokers said the company came under selling pressure after announcing on Monday a 22.8 percent year-on-year decline in its operating profit for January-March.
Among other major losers were automakers Isuzu and Mazda, as well as camera maker Konica Minolta.
On the other hand, electronic parts producer Taiyo Yuden jumped 5.24 percent, supported by a rosy earnings outlook for this business year.
Also on the sunny side were textile maker Toray and hydraulic equipment manufacturer KYB.