Tokyo stocks plummeted Friday in the wake of a Wall Street free-fall, forcing the benchmark Nikkei average to bleed over 1,000 points to fall below 29,000 at the closing for the first time in 13 market days.
The 225-issue Nikkei average surrendered 1,202.26 points, or 3.99%, to finish at 28,966.01, after soaring 496.57 points Thursday.
The Topix index of all first section issues ended down 61.74 points, or 3.21%, at a 16-session low of 1,864.49, following a 23.16-point rise the previous day.
The market came under strong selling pressure from the outset, as sell orders piled up after all three major U.S. market gauges, including the Nasdaq composite index, tumbled on the heels of a spike in the U.S. 10-year interest rate Thursday.
Technology-oriented stocks, particularly chip-linked names, suffered a severe blow from steep falls in the tech-heavy Nasdaq and SOX Philadelphia semiconductor indexes, brokers said.
The Japanese 10-year interest rate’s climb to a 61-month high also weighed down the market.
Stocks went further south in the afternoon in step with other Asian shares and U.S. index futures.
Position-squaring selling ahead of the weekend contributed to the sell-off, too, brokers said.
Masahiro Ichikawa, chief market strategist at Sumitomo Mitsui DS Asset Management Co., said that the surge in interest rates especially hurt growth stocks that “have risen excessively in the ongoing liquidity-driven market” on the back of prolonged massive quantitative easing by major economies’ central banks.
“The market showed some resilience in the afternoon thanks to buying the dip on hopes for an early end to the coronavirus crisis,” Kazuo Kamitani, strategist at Nomura Securities Co., noted.
An official at a bank-affiliated brokerage house pointed out that players moved to “adjust the speed” of the market’s ascent.
On the TSE first section, decliners overwhelmed gainers 1,985 to 172 while 37 issues stayed unchanged. Volume rose to 1.688 billion shares from Thursday’s 1.460 billion shares.
In the battered semiconductor sector, chip test device-maker Advantest dived 7.51% and production equipment manufacturer Screen 6.53%.
The Nikkei’s heavyweight components, such as Fast Retailing and SoftBank Group, fell sharply.
Other noticeable losers included Nissan Chemical and advertising giant Dentsu.
Conversely, daily goods producer Kao and oil wholesaler Idemitsu were buoyant along with few others.
In index futures trading on the Osaka Exchange, the key March contract on the Nikkei average plunged 940 points to end at 29,250.
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