The benchmark Nikkei stock average continued to fall Monday after a four-day weekend, pressured by renewed concerns over U.S.-China tensions.
The 225-issue Nikkei average of the Tokyo Stock Exchange fell 35.76 points, or 0.16 percent, to end at 22,715.85. On Wednesday, the key market gauge lost 132.61 points. The Tokyo market was closed Thursday and Friday for national holidays.
But the Topix index of all TSE first section issues was up 3.73 points, or 0.24 percent, at 1,576.69 after sagging 9.78 points the previous trading day.
A wide range of issues came under selling pressure at the outset of Monday’s trading, after Wall Street slid further Friday amid growing concerns over an intensification of U.S.-China tensions.
The U.S. Consulate in Chengdu, southwestern China, closed Monday under a Chinese order issued Friday in retaliation for a U.S. request to shut the Chinese Consulate in Houston.
Market sentiment was also hurt by the yen’s sharp rise against the dollar amid intensifying risk aversion due to the growing U.S.-China animosity, brokers said.
The Nikkei lost as much as 322 points in early trading, but it trimmed the losses, supported by higher U.S. index futures in off-hours trading, the brokers said.
“The consulate issue was used as a pretext to take profits in the early morning, and then the market soon showed resilience reflecting strong appetite for buying the dips,” said Hirohumi Yamamoto, strategist at Toyo Securities Co.
Speculation about exchange-traded fund purchases by the Bank of Japan was also behind the resilience, brokers said.
But the market’s topside was limited “in the absence of active buyers ahead of the start of the earnings season in Japan,” Yamamoto added.
Rising issues outnumbered falling ones 1,424 to 683 in the TSE’s first section, while 65 issues were unchanged.
Volume increased to 1.160 billion shares from Wednesday’s 1.085 billion shares.
Chipmaking gear manufacturer Tokyo Electron, testing device-maker Advantest Corp. and other issues in the semiconductor sector met with selling, after U.S. giant Intel Corp. plummeted over 16 percent Friday after announcing a delay in its launch of next-generation chips.
Internet service firm CyberAgent Inc. dived following its announcement of an operating profit drop for April to June on Wednesday.
Among other losers were clothing store chain Fast Retailing Co. and drugmaker Chugai Pharmaceutical Co.
Meanwhile, Ono Pharmaceutical Co. attracted purchases on media reports that a potential osteoporosis drug the company had given up developing may be effective for the treatment of the novel coronavirus.
Electronic device-maker Nidec Corp. extended its winning streak to a ninth session.
Also on the positive side were mobile phone carrier KDDI Corp. and daily goods maker Kao Corp.
In index futures trading on the Osaka Exchange, the key September contract on the Nikkei average fell 60 points to end at 22,690.
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