The Nikkei 225 average hit a fresh 40-month closing low in a seesaw session Monday, with support from monetary easing by the U.S. and Japanese central banks proving short-lived.
The Nikkei tumbled 429.01 points, or 2.46 percent, to end at 17,002.04, the lowest finish since Nov. 9, 2016. On Friday, the key market gauge shed 1,128.58 points.
The Topix, which covers all first-section issues on the Tokyo Stock Exchange, closed 25.36 points, or 2.01 percent, lower at 1,236.34 after losing 66.18 points Friday.
Stocks jumped in the early morning on buying spurred by the U.S. Federal Reserve’s emergency interest rate cut by 1.00 percentage point and resumption of quantitative easing on Sunday in a bid to mitigate the coronavirus pandemic’s economic impact.
In an initial surge, the Nikkei gained nearly 300 points. But the key index soon took a downturn as the market came under renewed selling pressure.
After struggling for direction at around Friday’s closing level, the Nikkei, again, shot up by some 300 points in the wake of the Bank of Japan’s announcement of its first easing measures in about 3½ years, including an expansion in its purchases of exchange traded funds.
The easing decision was made at a Policy Board meeting originally scheduled to start Wednesday for a two-day run. The BOJ moved up its regular policy-setting meeting for the first time since the revised BOJ Law was put into effect in 1998.
But the market quickly lost steam and sank deeper amid persistent fears over the pandemic leading to a global economic slump, pushing down the Nikkei by over 500 points toward the closing.
The easing moves by the U.S. and Japanese monetary authorities were welcomed by investors, but “selling gathered steam amid growing concerns over a Wall Street sell-off” after a sharp rally Friday, Tomoaki Fujii, head of the investment research division at Akatsuki Securities Inc., said.
Dow Jones Industrial Average futures dropped markedly in off-hours trading ahead of the New York cash market’s opening Monday, he pointed out.
“The only way to stop stocks and the global economy from bleeding is bringing the pandemic to an end,” an official at a bank-affiliated securities firm stressed.
On the first section, falling issues outnumbered rising ones 1,098 to 1,019 while 49 issues were unchanged. Volume decreased to 2.345 billion shares from 3.459 billion Friday.
Automakers met with heavy selling, with Nissan plunging 3.50 percent and Toyota 2.35 percent.
Sporting goods maker Descente extended its losing streak to a 13th session.
Among other noticeable losers were technology investor SoftBank Group and chipmaking gear manufacturer Tokyo Electron.
Meanwhile, airlines ANA and JAL shot up, by 4.44 percent 3.40 percent, respectively.
Also on the positive side were mobile phone carrier KDDI and camera maker Nikon.