Tokyo stocks took a downturn Thursday on the back of the yen’s appreciation and overseas market falls.
The 225-issue Nikkei average of the Tokyo Stock Exchange shed 156.16 points, or 0.67 percent, to close at 23,319.37, after rising 20.64 points Wednesday.
The Topix index of all first section issues closed down 5.95 points, or 0.36 percent, at 1,638.40, following a 3.51-point rise the previous day.
The market got off to a weaker start and plunged deeper in the morning, with sentiment chilled by the yen’s strengthening against the dollar and a drop in the U.S. Dow Jones Industrial Average futures in off-hours trading, brokers said.
Bearish performances of Chinese and other Asian shares also weighed on Tokyo stocks throughout the afternoon session, they added.
“Seeing the possibility of Wall Street coming under stronger selling pressure on Thursday, participants in trading here increasingly grew cautious about buying,” an official at a bank-affiliated securities firm said, referring to quickly waned buying interest in the U.S. market after the end of the Federal Reserve’s two-day Federal Open Market Committee meeting the previous day.
But active selling was also absent in the afternoon, “probably because foreign players continued to sit on the fences in view of still-high U.S. stock prices,” a major brokerage firm official said.
The Tokyo market was little affected by the Bank of Japan’s announcement in the morning that it decided to keep the current massive easing policy at the central bank’s two-day policy meeting from Wednesday, according to Yutaka Miura, senior technical analyst at Mizuho Securities Co.
On the first section, gainers outnumbered losers 1,116 to 931 with 127 issues unchanged. Volume fell to 1.108 billion shares from Wednesday’s 1.168 billion shares.
Toyota Motor Corp., Honda Motor Co. and other automakers were pulled down by the stronger yen.
Railway operators soured after East Japan Railway Co. and West Japan Railway Co. said they would log net losses for the year ending next March due to the coronavirus crisis.
Among other major losers were industrial robot producer Fanuc Corp. and daily goods maker Kao Corp.
By contrast, seasoning producer Ajinomoto Co. and convenience store chain FamilyMart Co. attracted active buying.
In index futures trading on the Osaka Exchange, the key December contract on the Nikkei average fell 200 points to end at 23,100.