Business / Financial Markets | TSE DATA & REPORT

Tokyo stocks fall back on profit-taking

JIJI

Tokyo stocks turned lower Thursday, hit by selling to lock in profits.

The 225 issue Nikkei average fell 21.06 points, or 0.09 percent, to end at 22,451.86, snapping its four-session winning streak. The key market gauge jumped 265.71 points Wednesday.

The Topix index of all issues listed on the first section of the Tokyo Stock Exchange lost 7.35 points, or 0.45 percent, to finish at 1,624.16, after advancing 11.31 points the previous day.

The market made a dismal start following a fallback on Wall Street on Wednesday caused by the announcement of surprisingly weak U.S. retail sales in September, brokers said.

The Nikkei average remained on the sunny side mostly throughout the session, while the Topix index failed to become buoyant. But both gauges fluctuated in narrow ranges in the dearth of fresh incentives.

Although a wide range of issues came under profit-taking pressure stemming from the latest market rally, in which the Nikkei gained over 1,000 points, the market was underpinned by a weaker yen vis-a-vis the dollar, brokers said.

“European players became inactive” ahead of the start later in the day of the European Union summit to discuss a Brexit deal, Hiroaki Kuramochi, chief market analyst at Capital Partners Securities Co., said.

Kuramochi also attributed the market’s overall weakness to a growing wariness over high prices among investors.

“Now that a partial trade accord between the United States and China has been fully priced in, market attention is shifting to U.S. and Chinese economic indicators to be released from now on,” an official at a major securities firm said.

On the TSE’s first section, falling issues outnumbered rising ones 1,433 to 636, while 86 issues were unchanged.

Volume shrank to 1.114 billion shares from Wednesday’s 1.427 billion shares.

Concerns over a possible slowdown in the U.S. economy weighed down cyclicals including automaker Toyota Motor Corp. and steel-maker JFE Holdings Inc.

Financials such as megabank group Mitsubishi UFJ Financial Group Inc. and insurer Dai-ichi Life Holdings Inc. fell prey to profit-taking.

Among other losers were mobile phone carrier KDDI Corp. and industrial robot producer Fanuc Corp.

On the other hand, shipping firms attracted purchases, with Mitsui OSK Lines jumping 2.10 percent and Kawasaki Kisen Kaisha 2.02 percent.

Chemical-maker Asahi Kasei Corp. extended its winning streak to a seventh session.

Also bought were technology investor SoftBank Group Corp. and clothing store chain Fast Retailing Co.

In index futures trading on the Osaka Exchange, the key December contract on the Nikkei average lost 40 points to end at 22,450.