Business / Financial Markets | TSE DATA & REPORT

Nikkei drops slightly to extend losing streak

JIJI

The Nikkei 225 average finished marginally lower Tuesday, extending its losing streak to a fifth market day.

The benchmark index dropped 2.34 points, or 0.01 percent, to end at 20,408.54 after losing 190.31 points Monday.

Meanwhile, the Topix, which covers all first-section issues on the Tokyo Stock Exchange, closed 0.13 of a point, or 0.01 percent, higher at 1,499.09 to mark the first rise in five sessions. It sagged 13.32 points Monday.

The market opened moderately higher as investors moved to hunt bargains in the wake of recent drops, brokers said.

But this soon lost its vigor, with sentiment dampened by weaker Shanghai shares and the dollar’s fall below ¥108, sending both the Nikkei and Topix into negative territory, brokers said.

In the afternoon, stocks pared their losses thanks to a pause in the yen’s strengthening and accelerated buybacks of beaten-down issues, they said.

“The afternoon resilience could also be attributed to what appeared to be purchases of exchange-traded funds by the Bank of Japan,” said Ryuta Otsuka, strategist at the investment information department of Toyo Securities Co.

“Stocks were free from downward pressure from the Twitter feed by U.S. President Donald Trump, now on a trip to Britain,” said a major brokerage house official.

But upward momentum was absent as well amid players keeping a vigilant eye on developments associated with trade friction between the United States and other economies, Otsuka noted.

Rising issues outnumbered falling ones 1,515 to 576 in the first section, while 50 issues were unchanged.

Volume inched up to 1.239 billion shares from 1.228 billion Monday.

Transport companies met with marked selling, with railway operators Keio down 3.43 percent and JR Tokai down 1.57 percent.

Beverage producer Ito En dropped after its group operating profit projection for the year to April 2020 failed to beat a market consensus, brokers said.

Among other losers were technology investor SoftBank Group, mobile phone carrier KDDI and job information service firm Recruit Holdings.

Meanwhile, chipmaking gear manufacturer Tokyo Electron, industrial robot producer Fanuc, automaker Honda and other export-oriented issues attracted repurchases.

Casio jumped on its own share buyback plan.

Also on the positive side were drugmaker Astellas and Kobe Steel.