• Jiji


Tokyo stocks dipped Friday as market players took to position-squaring ahead of the weekend.

The 225-issue Nikkei average of the Tokyo Stock Exchange shed 27.38 points, or 0.12 percent, to end at 23,619.69. On Thursday, the key index surged 224.25 points to mark the highest finish since Feb. 14.

The Topix index of all TSE first section issues gave up 8.09 points, or 0.49 percent, to end at 1,647.38, following a 9.00-point rise the previous day.

Despite opening slightly higher after U.S. equities extended their gains overnight, the Tokyo market turned bearish in early trading. The Nikkei average slipped below the previous day’s closing level by the middle of the morning session.

Stocks held steady at low price ranges in the afternoon as investors engaged in position-adjusting trading.

Investors were also staying put to wait for an earnings announcement by industrial robot-maker Yaskawa Electric Corp., regarded by many in the market as a China-related stock, after the closing bell, brokers said.

The Nikkei was weighed down by a sense of accomplishment after finishing at the highest level in almost eight months the day before, Maki Sawada, vice president of Nomura Securities Co.’s Investment Research & Investor Services Department, said.

Masahiro Ichikawa, senior strategist at Sumitomo Mitsui DS Asset Management Co., said that the slight strengthening of the yen in the morning also dampened investor sentiment.

Falling issues outnumbered rising ones 1,405 to 690 in the TSE’s first section, with 84 issues unchanged. Volume decreased to 1.013 billion shares from Thursday’s 1.029 billion shares.

SoftBank Group Corp. fell as investors sought to lock in profits after a nine-session winning streak.

Real estate names also came under selling, with Sumitomo Realty & Development Co. dropping 3.29 percent.

Other major losers included railway operator West Japan Railway Co. and logistics firm Nippon Express Co.

On the other hand, Seven & I Holdings Co. climbed after it raised its earnings forecast for the fiscal year ending in February 2021 on Thursday.

Household goods retailer Ryohin Keikaku Co. spiked 10.49 percent after its earnings for the six months through August, released Thursday, exceeded market expectations.

In index futures trading on the Osaka Exchange, the key December contract on the Nikkei average fell 60 points to end at 23,570.

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