Business / Financial Markets | TSE DATA & REPORT

Hit by stronger yen, Nikkei down for fourth session

JIJI

The benchmark Nikkei average extended its losing streak to a fourth session on the Tokyo Stock Exchange on Wednesday, with the yen’s firming against the dollar dampening buying sentiment.

The 225-issue Nikkei average closed down 68.75 points, or 0.33 percent, at 20,516.56. On Tuesday, the key market gauge lost 134.98 points.

Meanwhile, the Topix index of all first-section issues edged up 0.70 point, or 0.05 percent, to end at 1,499.93, after sagging 6.65 points the previous day.

The Tokyo market opened lower despite the Dow Jones Industrial Average’s 1.2 percent rebound on the New York Stock Exchange on Tuesday amid receded concerns about heightened tensions over currency between the United States and China.

Selling outpaced buying in the morning on the back of the yen’s strengthening and a fall in U.S. index futures in off-hours trading, brokers said.

But in the afternoon, bargain-hunting gained strength, helping the Nikkei cut its loss and bringing the Topix back into positive territory.

The market was also underpinned by speculation about the Bank of Japan’s purchases of exchange-traded funds, brokers said.

The Nikkei failed to become buoyant partly because it is composed of many high-priced technology and cyclical issues, which fared poorly in the day’s session, Hirohumi Yamamoto, strategist at Toyo Securities Co., pointed out.

Although Wall Street turned up and the Topix snapped its losing streak, the overall market was not strong at all, as investors “found it inadvisable to step up buying given a flurry of dismal earnings reports for April-June by Japanese companies,” he also said.

In addition, active buying was held in check amid persistent fears about an escalation of the U.S.-China trade dispute, a market source noted.

Falling issues marginally outnumbered rising ones 1,060 to 1,003 in the TSE’s first section, while 86 issues were unchanged.

Volume fell to 1.283 billion shares from Tuesday’s 1.523 billion shares.

Export-oriented automakers and machinery manufacturers were mostly lower. They included Nissan Motor Co., Honda Motor Co., Okuma Corp. and Kubota Corp.

Semiconductor-related issues, such as chipmaking gear-maker Tokyo Electron and test device manufacturer Advantest Corp., met with selling after silicon wafer-maker Sumco Corp. announced weak earnings for April-June.

Resources developer JXTG Holdings Inc., precision instrument-maker Nikon Corp. and telecommunications giant Nippon Telegraph And Telephone Corp. fell also on worse-than-expected earnings for the same quarter.

Clothing store chain Fast Retailing Co. and industrial robot producer Fanuc Corp. dropped.

Meanwhile, defensives attracted purchases. Among them were alcoholic beverage supplier Sapporo Holdings, Astellas Pharma Inc., railway operator Keio Corp. and power supplier Tokyo Electric Power Company Holding Inc.

Game-maker Square Enix Holdings Co. and air conditioner-maker Daikin Industries rose on strong earnings for April-June.

Automaker Toyota Motor Corp. buoyed on selective buying.

In index futures trading on the Osaka Exchange, the key September contract on the Nikkei average dropped 60 points to end at 20,470.