Tokyo stocks turned lower Thursday, hit by selling stemming from sluggishness in U.S. shares.
The Nikkei average of 225 selected issues listed on the first section of the Tokyo Stock Exchange lost 229.99 points, or 1.00 percent, to end at 22,880.62, following a 59.53-point rise Wednesday.
The Topix index of all first-section issues closed down 14.53 points, or 0.90 percent, at 1,599.20, after gaining 2.88 points the previous day.
The market got off to a gloomy start after all three major U.S. stock price gauges, including the Dow Jones industrial average, fell on Wednesday.
Sentiment was dampened by the U.S. Federal Reserve's downbeat economic outlook regarding the novel coronavirus pandemic as shown in the just-released minutes of the Federal Open Market Committee's meeting last month, brokers said.
Both the Nikkei and Topix sank deeper into negative territory in the afternoon, weighed down by falls in Chinese stocks and a slide in Dow futures in off-hours trading.
"Some foreign investors moved to sell stocks in the afternoon in anticipation of another U.S. market drop," said Yutaka Miura, senior technical analyst at Mizuho Securities Co.
He noted that the Nikkei may fall to around 22,500 on Friday if Wall Street fails to stage a rebound on Thursday, adding that buying incentives seem to have gone out of the U.S. market.
On the first section, falling issues outnumbered rising ones 1,633 to 444 with 96 issues unchanged. Volume inched up to 945 million shares from Wednesday's 915 million shares.
Stocks in the semiconductor sector, including test device maker Advantest and chipmaking gear manufacturer Tokyo Electron, were battered by the lingering adverse effects of fresh U.S. sanctions on China's Huawei Technologies Co.
Market participants increasingly believe that the electronic device sector is now overvalued, a brokerage house official said.
Technology and entertainment giant Sony and clothing store chain Fast Retailing also met with active selling.
On the other hand, Hitachi Metals surged 7.34 percent on news reports that parent Hitachi plans to sell the metal materials unit.
Also bought were Daiwa House and toilet maker Toto.
In index futures trading on the Osaka Exchange, the key September contract on the Nikkei average shed 250 points to end at 22,880.
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