Business / Financial Markets

Tokyo stocks end lower amid earnings season

JIJI

Tokyo stocks ended lower Tuesday, as investors refrained from active buying to wait for announcements of business results amid the earnings reporting season.

The 225-issue Nikkei average of the Tokyo Stock Exchange fell 58.47 points, or 0.26 percent, to end at 22,657.38 after losing 35.76 points Monday.

The Topix index of all TSE first section issues closed down 7.57 points, or 0.48 percent, at 1,569.12 after rising 3.73 points the previous day.

Tokyo stocks moved on a firm note for most of the morning session, after the U.S. Dow Jones Industrial Average rallied overnight on expectations for brisk earnings at major technology companies such as Alphabet Inc. and Apple Inc., brokers said.

The Nikkei average gained over 120 points at one point, also supported by a rise in U.S. index futures in off-hours trading.

But the market gave up early gains in the afternoon, with investor sentiment dampened by media reports that about 270 new coronavirus cases were confirmed in Tokyo on Tuesday, the brokers said.

“Selling on rallies increased when the Nikkei rose above 22,800, as did in recent sessions,” said Masayuki Otani, chief market analyst at Securities Japan Inc. “It seems to me that the U.S.-China animosity is weighing on the Tokyo market.”

Some investors retreated to the sidelines to see Tuesday’s earnings announcements by industrial robot producer Fanuc Corp. and chipmaking gear manufacturer Tokyo Electron, both heavyweight components of the Nikkei average, an official of a major securities firm said.

Falling issues outnumbered rising ones 1,534 to 557 in the TSE’s first section, while 81 issues were unchanged.

Volume decreased to 1.088 billion shares from Monday’s 1.160 billion shares.

Hitachi Construction Machinery Co. dived following its announcement of a worse-than-expected operating profit for April-June the previous day.

Mitsubishi Motors Corp. plummeted after announcing Monday that the automaker expects an operating loss of ¥140 billion for the year to March 2021, far lower that the market consensus of a ¥40.7 billion loss.

Among other losers were air conditioner maker Daikin Industries and clothing store chain Fast Retailing Co.

Meanwhile, Tokyo Electron, testing device-maker Advantest Corp. and other issues in the semiconductor sector attracted purchases on their U.S. peers’ upturn Monday.

Fujifilm Holdings Corp. surged after the U.S. government announced that it will award some $265 million to a U.S. subsidiary of the Japanese company to aid the production of a novel coronavirus vaccine.

In index futures trading on the Osaka Exchange, the key September contract on the Nikkei average lost 80 points to end at 22,610.

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