Stocks lost further ground on the Tokyo Stock Exchange on Wednesday, battered by rekindled concerns over a U.S.-China trade war and an overnight fallback on Wall Street.
The 225-issue Nikkei average fell 66.07 points, or 0.31 percent, to end at 21,469.18, after dropping 150.65 points Tuesday.
The Topix index of all first-section issues closed down 1.33 points, or 0.08 percent, at 1,567.41. It lost 7.57 points the previous day.
The Tokyo market opened lower, after the Dow Jones Industrial Average snapped its five-session record-breaking streak on an intraday basis on the New York Stock Exchange on Tuesday.
In addition to the Wall Street downturn, investor sentiment was chilled by U.S. President Donald Trump’s Cabinet meeting remarks Tuesday that Washington has “a long way to go” before settling the trade dispute with Beijing. Trump also noted that he still has the option of imposing tariffs on additional Chinese goods worth over $300 billion.
The market accelerated its downswing toward midmorning on selling of high-priced shares including clothing store chain Fast Retailing, but showed some resilience later in the morning supported by firm Shanghai stocks, brokers said.
In the afternoon, trading subdued due to a lack of major incentives.
“Players refrained from active transactions” to wait for Sunday’s House of Councilors election and key Japanese companies’ earnings announcements starting next week, Hiroaki Hiwada, strategist at Toyo Securities Co., said, adding that investors also found it difficult to make big moves before the U.S. Federal Reserve’s Federal Open Market Committee meeting at the end of the month.
Meanwhile, Yoshihiko Tabei, chief analyst at Naito Securities Co., pointed out that “the Bank of Japan’s apparent purchases of exchange-traded funds” prevented the market from extending losses in the afternoon.
Falling issues far outnumbered rising ones 1,399 to 672 in the TSE’s first section, while 79 issues were unchanged.
Volume decreased to 1.023 billion shares from Tuesday’s 1.040 billion shares.
Morinaga Milk Industry and confectionary-maker Morinaga fell 7.68 percent and 3.27 percent, respectively, after they denied reported merger discussions.
Technology investor SoftBank Group dived 2.35 percent, and Fast Retailing soured 0.63 percent.
Among other major losers were information technology service company GMO Internet and electronics giant Panasonic.
On the other hand, Matsumotokiyoshi Holdings jumped 3.38 percent in response to the drug store operator’s plans to expand into Vietnam and Hong Kong.
Also on the positive side were construction machinery-maker Komatsu and online stationery retailer Askul.
In index futures trading on the Osaka Exchange, the key September contract on the Nikkei average fell 80 points to end at 21,420.