Stocks fell further on the Tokyo Stock Exchange on Thursday, bruised by a drop in Hong Kong equities and a stronger yen.
The 225-issue Nikkei average closed down 97.72 points, or 0.46 percent, at 21,032.00. On Wednesday, the key market gauge dropped 74.56 points.
The Topix index of all first section issues fell 12.72 points, or 0.82 percent, at 1,541.50, after sliding 7.10 points the previous day.
The Tokyo market got off to a weak start, battered by profit-taking after a three-day advance through Tuesday and an overnight drop on Wall Street, brokers said.
It slowly slipped further into negative territory, pulled down by a tumble in Hong Kong stocks and the yen’s appreciation. The Nikkei briefly sank nearly 200 points.
Hong Kong stocks were hurt by massive protests over a proposed law revision to allow extraditions to mainland China.
The Tokyo market cut losses in the afternoon, partly thanks to a recovery in Hong Kong stocks.
While fluctuating around the 21,000 level in the afternoon, the Nikkei average failed to make up for the morning’s plunge and remained in negative territory for the rest of the day.
Brokers noted that the market was also weighed down by concerns over the uncertain future of U.S.-China trade negotiations to settle their trade dispute.
Investors became concerned that the talks may drag on, after U.S. President Donald Trump said in a statement Wednesday that he had no deadline for an agreement in the negotiations to avert additional tariffs on Chinese imports.
On the other hand, Ryuta Otsuka, strategist at the investment information department of Toyo Securities Co., said that the Tokyo market in the afternoon was “supported by apparent purchases of exchange-traded funds by the Bank of Japan.”
Otsuka said that investors retreated to the sidelines in the afternoon to wait to see the outcome of a meeting of the U.S. Federal Reserve’s Federal Open Market Committee on June 18-19 and whether Trump and Chinese President Xi Jinping will meet during a Group of 20 summit in Japan on June 28-29.
Falling issues outnumbered rising ones 1,673 to 394 in the TSE’s first section, while 74 issues were unchanged.
Volume increased to 1.174 billion shares from Wednesday’s 1.056 billion shares.
Japan Display Inc. plunged 11.94 percent, a day after the company announced plans to suspend operations at a factory producing its mainstay liquid crystal display panels for smartphones and a voluntary redundancy program aimed at cutting 1,200 jobs.
Semiconductor-related issues fell, dragged down by a drop in the U.S. semiconductor sector stock index on Wednesday. They included Tokyo Electron and Advantest Corp.
On the other hand, a handful of winners included hourly parking service provider Park24 Co. and cosmetics maker Shiseido Co.
In index futures trading on the Osaka Exchange, the key June contract on the Nikkei average lost 100 points to end at 21,020.
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