Business / Financial Markets | TSE DATA & REPORT

Tokyo stocks drop in thin Christmas trading

JIJI

Tokyo stocks dropped in thin trading Wednesday amid a dearth of fresh trading incentives, with most markets around the world, including those in Asia, closed for Christmas.

The 225-issue Nikkei average fell 47.71 points, or 0.20 percent, to end at 23,782.87, after rising 9.47 points Tuesday.

The Topix index of all TSE first section issues closed down 6.80 points, or 0.39 percent, at 1,721.42, extending its losing streak to a sixth market day. It shed 1.20 points the previous day.

Both indexes started out and remained in negative territory throughout the morning, weighed down by Tuesday’s drops in the Dow Jones Industrial Average and S&P 500 index in the United States and the stagnant Shanghai market Wednesday, brokers said.

The Nikkei and Topix continued to fluctuate within a narrow range on the minus side in the afternoon amid a lack of strong factors stimulating trading, brokers said.

Noting that the Tokyo market was “in vacation mode,” Chihiro Ota, general manager for investment research and investor services at SMBC Nikko Securities Inc., said, “With foreign participants absent for the Christmas holidays, the market was pressured by small-lot selling.”

Yutaka Miura, senior technical analyst at Mizuho Securities Co., said that the market was under a slight selling pressure by Japanese investors before the year-end.

Falling issues far outnumbered rising ones 1,594 to 469 in the TSE first section, while 97 issues were unchanged.

Volume fell further to 776 million shares from Tuesday’s 865 million shares.

Nissan Motor Co. dropped 3.14 percent, in response to the announcement of the departure of its No. 3 executive, Vice Chief Operating Officer Jun Seki, from the automaker.

Clothing retailer Shimamura Co. dived 7.64 percent, after announcing an 8.1 percent year-on-year drop in its operating profit for March-November.

Mobile virtual network operator Japan Communication Inc. and chipmaking gear manufacturer Tokyo Electron also went south.

By contrast, mergers and acquisitions broker Strike Co. surged 15.05 percent, thanks to its strong business results for September-November.

Also on the positive side were clothing store chain Fast Retailing Co. and drugmaker Daiichi Sankyo Co.

In index futures trading on the Osaka Exchange, the key March contract on the Nikkei average dropped 50 points to end at 23,710.

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