• Jiji


Tokyo stocks turned lower Wednesday, succumbing to profit-taking pressure.

The 225-issue Nikkei average fell 126.45 points, or 0.56 percent, to end at 22,455.76. On Tuesday, the key market gauge skyrocketed 1,051.26 points.

The Topix index of all Tokyo Stock Exchange first-section issues closed down 6.36 points, or 0.40 percent, at 1,587.09, after gaining 62.67 points the previous day.

The Tokyo market was met with selling to lock in profits from the outset of Wednesday’s trading following its sharp rise the previous day, and fluctuated on the minus side throughout the morning, brokers said.

Despite cutting some of their losses early in the afternoon, reflecting similar moves of Dow Jones industrial average futures in off-hours trading, the key indexes failed to recover to the positive side.

“The market, to some extent, was weighed down by concerns over the situation on the Korean Peninsula,” an official at an asset management company said. On Tuesday, North Korea blew up an inter-Korean liaison office near its border with South Korea.

Yutaka Miura, senior technical analyst at Mizuho Securities Co., said, “The Nikkei came under the pressure of selling on a rally throughout the day whenever it surpassed the 22,500-mark.”

Meanwhile, Miura noted that the underside of the Tokyo market was supported by buying on dips in the afternoon.

Falling issues outnumbered rising ones 1,222 to 869 in the TSE’s first section, while 77 issues were unchanged. Volume decreased to 1.176 billion shares from Tuesday’s 1.554 billion shares.

Information technology firm CAC fell 3.77 percent, with investors reacting negatively to a lackluster rise in its operating profit in the January-March period.

Toray dropped 3.02 percent in response to a news report that the textile-maker has started to downsize production at its U.S. carbon fiber operations.

Among other major losers were musical instrument manufacturer Yamaha and air conditioner-maker Daikin.

On the other hand, Ishikawa Seisakusho and other defense-related issues attracted active buying, against the backdrop of heightened tensions on the Korean Peninsula.

Also on the positive side were retailer Ryohin Keikaku and technology and entertainment giant Sony.

In index futures trading on the Osaka Exchange, the key September contract on the Nikkei average rose 170 points to end at 22,530.

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