Tokyo stocks ended lower on Monday, reflecting mounting profit-taking and falls in overseas markets, despite starting off the day’s trading on a positive note.
The 225-issue Nikkei average lost 229.33 points, or 0.77%, to close at 29,538.73, following a 59.08-point gain on Friday.
The Topix index of all first section issues finished 4.88 points, or 0.25%, lower at 1,954.59, after rising 7.61 points the previous trading day.
Reassured to see the U.S. Dow Jones Industrial Average closing at a record high Friday, investors on the Tokyo market moved to buy stocks from the outset.
Profit-taking pressure, however, then took the upper hand amid a wait-and-see mood ahead of the earnings releases by U.S. and Japanese companies, causing both the Nikkei and Topix indexes to fall into negative territory later in the morning.
Weighed down by drops in Dow futures in off-hours trading and in Chinese stock markets, the Nikkei and the Topix continued to fluctuate narrowly on the minus side throughout the afternoon amid the absence of strong market-moving news.
Brokers said that trading was thin in the Tokyo market before the full-scale start of earnings announcements in the United States later this week and in Japan later this month.
Pointing to the Nikkei’s lackluster performance during the day’s trading, Masahiro Ichikawa, chief market strategist at Sumitomo Mitsui DS Asset Management Co., noted, “Investors moved to mainly sell issues in the manufacturing sector that are scheduled to release their business results (later this month) after Yaskawa Electric’s earnings report announced late last week failed to provide market players with a positive surprise.”
Agreeing with the idea that Yaskawa’s report was behind the Nikkei’s steeper fall compared with the Topix index’s decline, some market sources said that investors were discouraged by the industrial robot-maker’s lower-than-expected operating profit forecast for the year ending in February 2022.
Despite the indexes’ falls, gainers overwhelmed decliners 1,292 to 811 on the TSE first section, while 87 issues were unchanged. Volume decreased to 954 million shares from Friday’s 1.123 billion shares.
Yaskawa plunged 7.11%.
Shipping firm Nippon Yusen succumbed to profit-taking after its three-session winning streak until Friday.
Retailer Aeon and silicon wafer producer Shin-Etsu Chemical also surrendered to heavy selling.
On the other hand, Sumitomo Rubber and other golf-related issues attracted buying after Hideki Matsuyama won the 2021 Masters Tournament on Sunday to become the first Japanese golfer to claim one of the four major professional golf championships for men.
Among other winners were cosmetics maker Shiseido and automaker Honda.
In index futures trading on the Osaka Exchange, the key June contract on the Nikkei average shed 190 points to end at 29,580.
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