Business / Financial Markets | TSE DATA & REPORT

Tokyo stocks fall further on refueled trade war concern

JIJI

Tokyo stocks sank deeper Wednesday on rekindled anxiety about a prolonged U.S.-China trade war.

The 225-issue Nikkei average dived 244.58 points, or 1.05 percent, to end at 23,135.23, after falling 149.69 points Tuesday.

The Topix index of all TSE first section issues finished down 3.46 points, or 0.20 percent, at 1,703.27, following a 7.76-point drop the previous day.

The Tokyo market went south from the outset after U.S. President Donald Trump told reporters Tuesday that he thinks it better to wait until the 2020 presidential election to conclude a preliminary trade deal with China.

Although stocks showed some resilience later in the morning, the yen’s appreciation against the dollar also helped kept the Nikkei and Topix indexes in negative territory throughout the Wednesday session, brokers said.

“Investors took the Trump remark as suggesting the possibility of Washington slapping tariffs on Chinese goods on Dec. 15 as scheduled,” said Chihiro Ota, general manager for investment research and investor services at SMBC Nikko Securities Inc.

The Nikkei fared far poorer than the Topix because Uniqlo clothing store operator Fast Retailing Co., a key component of the blue-chip index, met with severe selling from beginning to end, Ota added.

Tomoaki Fujii, head of the investment research division at Akatsuki Securities Inc., said trading turned quiet in the afternoon as “players retreated to the sidelines to wait for fresh news on the U.S.-China trade front.”

On the TSE’s first section, falling issues outnumbered rising ones 1,170 to 866 while 121 issues were unchanged. Volume rose to 1.085 billion shares from Tuesday’s 1.074 billion shares.

Industrial robot producer Yaskawa Electric Corp., construction machinery-maker Komatsu and other China-related names were sold amid the renewed trade war concern.

Fast Retailing plunged 5.21 percent after it posted the previous day a 5.5 percent year-on-year fall in Uniqlo sales on a same-store basis for November.

Glass-maker AGC Inc. and Sumitomo Electric Industries also went down.

On the other hand, system developer Signpost Corp. surged 21.66 percent as investors cheered its joint firm’s announcement of the opening of an artificial intelligence-based unmanned store in Takanawa Gateway Station, a new JR Yamanote Line station in Tokyo set to start operation next spring.

Among other winners were automaker Toyota Motor Corp. and home builder Sekisui House.

In index futures trading on the Osaka Exchange, the key December contract on the Nikkei average dropped 230 points to end at 23,100.