Business / Financial Markets

Nikkei loses ground on profit-taking

Jiji

Failing to shrug off profit-taking pressure, the Nikkei 225 stock average turned lower in lackluster trading Tuesday.

The Nikkei shed 12.03 points, or 0.06 percent, to end at 19,771.19 after rocketing 521.22 points Monday.

The Topix, which covers all first-section issues on the Tokyo Stock Exchange, closed 1.90 points, or 0.13 percent, higher at 1,449.15 following a 25.96-point rise Monday.

Despite U.S. stocks’ continued advance Monday, the TSE got off to a weaker start with sentiment dampened by the key New York crude oil futures contract’s tumble by over 20 percent and a drop in Dow Jones Industrial Average futures in off-hours trading, brokers said.

After turning briefly buoyant thanks to buybacks, the market sank into negative territory. In the afternoon, the Nikkei continued to meet with selling to lock in profits, while the Topix was lifted by popularity of financial issues.

The market was somewhat underpinned by expectations for reopening of the U.S. and European economies that grew in the wake of positive comments by New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo and Italian Prime Minister Giuseppe Conte, brokers said.

Observing that the market lacked vigor, Maki Sawada, vice president of Nomura Securities Co.’s investment research and investor services department, said, “Investors were reluctant to tilt their positions either way before the start Wednesday of the holiday-studded Golden Week.”

“They were also waiting for earnings reports by Japanese and U.S. companies,” she added.

On the first section, winners outnumbered losers 1,330 to 757 while 83 issues were unchanged. Volume inched down to 1.233 billion shares from 1.247 billion Monday.

The crude oil market plunge took a toll on oil stocks, including Inpex and Japex.

Technology firm Kyocera slumped 4.84 percent after the company’s operating profit forecast for the year ending March 2021 failed to beat a market consensus.

Daily goods maker Kao and cosmetics giant Shiseido were also among noticeable losers.

Mega-bank groups Mitsubishi UFJ, Mizuho and Sumitomo Mitsui attracted purchases thanks to brisk performances of their U.S. peers on economic reopening hopes.

Other winners included electronic parts producer Nitto Denko and drugmaker Shionogi.

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