• Jiji


Tokyo stocks fell back on Monday, succumbing to profit-taking pressure.

The Nikkei average of 225 selected issues on the first section of the Tokyo Stock Exchange shed 228.14 points, or 1.15 percent, to end at 19,669.12. On Friday, the benchmark index surged 607.06 points.

The Topix index of all TSE first-section issues closed down 10.13 points, or 0.70 percent, at 1,432.41, after gaining 20.30 points the previous trading day.

Despite Friday's rises of all three major U.S. stock market gauges, Tokyo equities opened the week on a sluggish note, weighed down by sales to lock in profits following their powerful rally late last week, brokers said.

While resisting an accelerated decline, supported by buying on dips and stable moves of the dollar-yen pair on the foreign exchange market, the Nikkei average hovered within a relatively narrow range on the minus side in the afternoon, amid a dearth of fresh trading incentives, they added.

"Profit-taking pressure increased as the Nikkei drew close to the 20,000 mark last Friday," Masahiro Ichikawa, senior strategist at Sumitomo Mitsui DS Asset Management Co., said.

In discussing factors behind Monday's sluggish performance of Tokyo stocks, Maki Sawada, vice president of Nomura Securities Co.'s Investment Research & Investor Services Department, said investors here had already factored in by the end of last week expectations for the reopening of the U.S. economy and for the development of drugs to treat coronavirus patients, which were the main driver behind Friday's U.S. market jump.

"Market players this week are expected to focus on earnings releases by Japanese and U.S. companies, while keeping a close eye on the number of coronavirus infections worldwide," Sawada added.

On the TSE's first section, rising issues slightly outnumbered falling ones 1,060 to 1,035 while 73 issues were unchanged. Volume dropped to 1.065 billion shares from Friday's 1.409 billion shares.

Apparel firm World fell 1.71 percent, in response to the company's announcement of downward revisions to its operating profit and net profit outlooks for the year that ended in March.

Mitsubishi Chemical Holdings lost 1.28 percent, after Mitsubishi UFJ Morgan Stanley Securities Co. revised down its stock target price for the company.

Among other major losers were mobile phone carrier KDDI and optical equipment maker Olympus.

On the other hand, drugmaker Takeda rose 1.78 percent, thanks to a news report saying that the company will work together with a U.S. firm to put into practical use on COVID-19 patients a plasma-derived therapy, which uses blood from coronavirus survivors, by the end of the year.

Also on the positive side were automaker Suzuki and chip-testing device manufacturer Advantest.

In index futures trading on the Osaka Exchange, the key June contract on the Nikkei average shed 60 points to end at 19,640.

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