Stocks fell in thin trading on the Tokyo Stock Exchange Monday, pulled down by concerns about escalating U.S.-China trade tensions.
The 225-issue Nikkei average dropped 84.18 points, or 0.41 percent, to end at 20,620.19. On Friday, the key market gauge surged 243.44 points.
The Topic index of all issues listed on the TSE’s first section went down 6.65 points, or 0.44 percent, to 1,505.21, after advancing 21.69 points the previous trading day.
Investor sentiment was hurt by fresh rounds of tariffs that the United States and China imposed on each other’s products in an escalating trade war on Sunday, brokers said.
The stock indexes were also weighed down by a stronger yen and a fall in U.S. Dow Jones futures in off-hours trading, they said.
Trading was lackluster as investors retreated to the sidelines ahead of the U.S. market’s closure Monday for the Labor Day holiday, they added.
“Market players refrained from active buying or selling as they were unsure how the U.S. market will react” to the new tariffs after the holiday, said Masahiro Ichikawa, senior strategist at Sumitomo Mitsui DS Asset Management Co.
Transactions are expected to remain sluggish until Tuesday, the brokers said.
A supportive factor was a rise in Chinese stocks after a better-than-expected reading on China’s Caixin manufacturing industry purchasing managers’ index for August, they said.
Falling issues outnumbered rising ones 1,569 to 506 in the TSE’s first section, while 74 issues were unchanged.
Volume dwindled to 802 million shares from Friday’s 1.207 billion shares.
Mobile game app developer DeNA fell 9.32 percent, pressured by profit-taking following a rise in recent sessions, brokers said.
Oil names Inpex and Cosmo Energy dropped after Friday’s decline in New York crude oil futures.
Also on the negative side were technology investor SoftBank Group and automaker Suzuki.
On the other hand, semiconductor-related issues attracted buying, helped by a climb in the SOX Philadelphia semiconductor index on Friday. Of them, Disco rose 4.25 percent, Sumco gained 2.13 percent and Advantest went up 1.72 percent.
Among other winners were Astellas Pharma and Japan Post Insurance.
In index futures trading on the Osaka Exchange, the key September contract on the Nikkei average dropped 100 points to end at 20,590.
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