Tokyo stocks continued to slip Thursday as investors remained cautious about the key Nikkei average’s recent rapid ascent.
The 225-issue Nikkei average of 225 dipped 56.10 points, or 0.19%, to close at 30,236.09, falling for two straight days. The benchmark index shed 175.56 points Wednesday.
The Topix index of all first section issues went down 19.58 points, or 1.00%, to finish at 1,941.91 after sliding 3.59 points the day before.
The Nikkei hovered above the previous day’s close for much of the morning after the U.S. Dow Jones Industrial Average notched a record close overnight.
The benchmark average joined the Topix index in negative terrain in the afternoon due to profit-taking selling, amid lingering concerns of market overheating after a 900-point rally earlier in the week.
A rise in U.S. long-term interest rates also weighed on Tokyo equities.
Brokers said that the Nikkei was underpinned almost solely by the bullish performance of Fast Retailing, the operator of the Uniqlo casual clothing chain and a heavyweight Nikkei component.
“The index may seem to be holding up, but the market tone is worsening significantly,” said Masayuki Otani, chief market analyst at Securities Japan Inc., noting that the number of declining Nikkei components is higher than that of the day before.
“The market is dominated by a wait-and-see mood, with the string of earnings announcements having been completed and a sense of overheating still remaining,” he added.
Also weighing on investor sentiment was weak trading on the Shanghai stock market, which opened higher but soon pared its gains, Masahiro Ichikawa, chief market strategist at Sumitomo Mitsui DS Asset Management Co., said. Chinese markets resumed trading Thursday after the Lunar New Year holiday.
Decliners outnumbered gainers 1,713 to 406 while 75 issues stayed unchanged. Volume grew to 1.579 billion shares from Wednesday’s 1.371 billion shares.
Semiconductor-related names in the Tokyo market traced the overnight decline of the tech-heavy U.S. Nasdaq index, with chip test device manufacturer Advantest sinking 3.67%.
Automakers Mazda and Hino shed 6.28% and 5.43%, respectively.
Other losers included Kobe Steel and information security firm Trend Micro.
Meanwhile, Uniqlo casual clothing chain operator Fast Retailing jumped 4.58%.
Airlines ANA and JAL held firm as the start of novel coronavirus vaccinations in Japan the day before continued to bolster hope for the normalization of economic activities.
In index futures trading on the Osaka Exchange, the key March contract on the Nikkei average retreated 170 points to end at 30,230.
In a time of both misinformation and too much information, quality journalism is more crucial than ever.
By subscribing, you can help us get the story right.