Business / Financial Markets | TSE DATA & REPORT

Tokyo stocks fall further on futures-led selling

JIJI

Tokyo stocks lost further ground Thursday, hurt by futures-led selling.

The 225-issue Nikkei average fell 178.32 points, or 0.76 percent, to end at 23,141.55. On Wednesday, the key market gauge sagged 200.14 points.

The Topix index of all issues listed on the Tokyo Stock Exchange first section ended down 15.93 points, or 0.94 percent, at 1,684.40, after retreating 9.34 points the previous day.

After moving narrowly around the previous day’s closing level amid a dearth of major trading incentives, the Nikkei headed south in midmorning trading following the release of weaker-than-expected Chinese retail sales and industrial production data for October.

The key market gauge stayed deep in negative territory in the afternoon, pressured by futures-led selling prompted by the dismal Chinese economic indicators, brokers said.

The Topix remained below Wednesday’s closing level throughout Thursday’s session.

The market succumbed to selling to lock in gains after the recent surge, Tomoaki Fujii, head of the investment research division at Akatsuki Securities Inc., said.

Masahiro Ichikawa, senior strategist at Sumitomo Mitsui DS Asset Management Co., said that the market “was overshadowed by concerns over the course of U.S.-China trade talks.”

“But it’s not that market sentiment is deteriorating at a rapid pace, as (U.S.-China trade) talks are ongoing,” Ichikawa added.

He indicated that the market resisted further falls thanks to buying on dips.

Falling issues overwhelmed rising ones 1,726 to 371 in the TSE’s first section, while 57 issues were unchanged.

Volume rose to 1.4 billion shares from 1.2 billion shares on Wednesday.

Export-oriented issues such as automakers Toyota, Honda and Nissan as well as machinery-maker Komatsu and technology giant Sony were downbeat, reflecting the yen’s strengthening.

Semiconductor test device-maker Advantest and industrial robot producer Fanuc were among other major losers.

By contrast, both Yahoo Japan owner Z Holdings and free messaging app provider Line shot up, with investor sentiment lifted by their reported talks on business integration. Z Holdings closed 16.93 percent higher, while Line jumped 15.38 percent with a maximum allowable single-day point gain.

Also on the plus side were motorcycle manufacturer Yamaha Motor and job information provider Recruit Holdings.

In index futures trading on the Osaka Exchange, the key December contract on the Nikkei average went down 180 points to end at 23,120.