Business / Financial Markets | TSE DATA & REPORT

Tokyo stocks hit by profit-taking after rally

JIJI

Tokyo stocks slid down Wednesday as profit-taking pressure built up after their vigorous advance the previous day.

The 225-issue Nikkei average lost 131.69 points, or 0.55 percent, to end at 23,934.43, On Tuesday, the key market gauge soared 113.77 points.

The Topix index of all Tokyo Stock Exchange first-section issues finished down 8.80 points, or 0.50 percent, at 1,738.40, after jumping 10.33 points the previous day.

Although major U.S. market gauges extended their record-breaking streaks Tuesday, Tokyo stocks met with selling to lock in profits from the outset.

A sense of achievement spread since both the Nikkei and Topix indexes rewrote their respective highs for this year Tuesday, brokers said.

The market kept heading south as profit-taking pressure increased amid a dearth of fresh buying incentives, they noted.

“Investors also boosted selling to square positions in light of Wall Street turning to produce fewer gains and the yen’s firming against the dollar,” said Yutaka Miura, senior technical analyst at Mizuho Securities Co.

“Growth stocks such as Nintendo were noticeably lower,” said Hiroaki Kuramochi, chief market analyst at Capital Partners Securities Co.

While some players expect market activities will become further lackluster toward the year’s end, Kuramochi underscored the possibility of any major development on the U.S.-China trade front causing volatile stock moves in thin trading.

On the TSE’s first section, falling issues outnumbered rising ones 1,522 to 528 while 107 issues were unchanged. Volume shrank to 1.276 billion shares from Tuesday’s 1.289 billion shares.

Investors dumped Nippon Yusen K.K., Kawasaki Kisen Kaisha and other shipping firms, as well as drugmakers such as Eisai Co. and Astellas Pharma Inc.

Dairy products maker Megmilk Snow Brand Co. extended its losing streak to an eighth session.

Among other losers were clothing store chain Fast Retailing Co. and industrial robot producer Fanuc Corp.

By contrast, securities firms such as Nomura Holdings Inc. and Daiwa Securities Group Inc. attracted purchases.

Mitsubishi Heavy Industries rose on media reports that the company and Hitachi are expected to settle their dispute over losses related to a thermal power generation project in South Africa.

Also on the positive side were technology investor Softbank Group Corp. and precision equipment-maker Olympus Corp.

In index futures trading on the Osaka Exchange, the key March contract on the Nikkei average fell 200 points to end at 23,810.