Business / Financial Markets | TSE DATA & REPORT

Tokyo stocks turn lower amid yen's strengthening

JIJI

Tokyo stocks fell back Tuesday, succumbing to selling prompted by the yen’s strengthening against the dollar.

The Nikkei 225 average sank 124.11 points, or 0.53 percent, to end at 23,292.65 after rising 113.44 points Monday.

The Topix, which covers all issues on the first section of the Tokyo Stock Exchange, closed at 1,696.73, down 3.99 points, or 0.23 percent. It gained 4.05 points Monday.

Selling outpaced buying from the outset despite the Dow Jones Industrial Average and the tech-heavy Nasdaq composite index rewriting record closing highs for the second consecutive session Monday.

Sentiment was dampened by a CNBC report that Beijing has turned “pessimistic” about the signing of the “phase one” trade deal by U.S. President Donald Trump and his Chinese counterpart, Xi Jinping, due to Trump’s denial of a tariff rollback agreement, brokers said.

The Nikkei lost up to 171 points in the morning as profit-takers and other players stepped up selling in view of the dollar’s retreat close to ¥108.50.

But after the initial sell orders were executed, the market recouped part of the lost ground thanks to buying stemming from solid performance of Chinese equities, brokers also said.

Both the Nikkei and Topix went sideways in the afternoon for lack of fresh incentives.

“The Nikkei moved almost in step with the dollar-yen pair, while influential events were absent,” said Tomoaki Fujii, head of the investment research division at Akatsuki Securities Inc.

“The market is expected to struggle for direction as long as uncertainties remain over the U.S.-China trade conflict,” said Yutaka Miura, senior technical analyst at Mizuho Securities Co.

On the first section, falling issues outnumbered rising ones 1,163 to 888 while 101 issues were unchanged. Volume fell to 1.204 billion shares from 1.223 billion Monday.

Toyota, Sony and other export-oriented issues were beaten by the stronger yen.

Power utility Kyushu Electric extended its losing streak to a sixth session.

Among other losers were clothing store chain Fast Retailing and technology investor SoftBank Group.

By contrast, drugmakers such as Eisai and Daiichi Sankyo attracted purchases.

Seiko Holdings was lifted by Nomura Securities Co. raising its target price for the major watchmaker.

Also on the positive side were cosmetics maker Shiseido and cybermall operator Rakuten.