Tokyo stocks turned lower Monday amid renewed pessimism about trade negotiations between the United States and China and persistent concerns over the U.S. economy.
The Nikkei 225 average fell 34.95 points, or 0.16 percent, to end at 21,375.25. On Friday, the key market gauge gained 68.46 points.
The Topix, which covers all issues listed on the first section of the Tokyo Stock Exchange, inched 0.15 point, or 0.01 percent, lower to close at 1,572.75 after rising 4.03 points Friday.
The TSE jumped at the outset, with investors taking heart from Wall Street extending its rally Friday. The Nikkei average gained some 65 points in the first several minutes.
But stocks soon sank into negative territory and failed to find positive footing throughout the rest of the session.
Fears over a rupture in the proposed U.S.-China trade talks scheduled to start Thursday increased in the wake of a Bloomberg report pointing to Beijing’s reluctance to strike a broad agreement with Washington, brokers said.
In addition, the U.S. government’s employment data for September, released Friday, were not powerful enough to brush away anxieties over deterioration in the world’s largest economy because they showed both strong and weak employment conditions, a market source said.
“The media report dented hope of the upcoming U.S.-China trade talks producing fruit,” said Hirohumi Yamamoto, strategist at Toyo Securities Co.
Besides the external factors, the Cabinet Office’s first downgrading in four months of its assessment of Japan’s key economic indicator to “worsening” seemed to add to the selling pressure, Yamamoto also said.
Rising and falling issues were tied at 1,015 on the first section, while 122 issues were unchanged.
Volume decreased to 921 million shares from 1.103 billion Friday.
Mega-banks met with selling, with Mitsubishi UFJ shedding 0.91 percent and Sumitomo Mitsui 0.82 percent.
Honda fell on media reports that the automaker has suspended production of the new N-WGN minivehicle due to a defect in the parking brake warning system.
Among other losers were clothing store operator Fast Retailing and optical equipment maker Olympus.
Meanwhile, stocks related to Apple Inc. attracted purchases after the U.S. tech giant’s share price rose sharply Friday.
Gyudon restaurant chain Yoshinoya Holdings surged 8.79 percent thanks to substantial upward revisions to its March-August profit estimates.
Also on the positive side were technology investor SoftBank Group and job information provider Recruit Holdings.
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