Tokyo stocks fell back Monday, hit by broad-based profit-taking selling.
The 225-issue Nikkei average of the Tokyo Stock Exchange dropped 289.33 points, or 0.99%, to close at 28,860.08, after soaring 600.40 points Friday.
The Topix index of all TSE first section issues finished down 24.46 points, or 1.26%, at 1,922.98, following a 36.42-point rise the previous trading day.
Players moved to sell stocks from the outset to lock in gains after Friday’s surge.
The market sank deeper in negative terrain in the afternoon with large-cap issues particularly hit hard by profit-taking, forcing the Nikkei to give up some 350 points at one point.
Meanwhile, hopes for an economic recovery backed by progress in coronavirus vaccinations underpinned the market, brokers said.
Trading was thin throughout the day, as foreign investors were inactive due to a three-day U.S. weekend through Memorial Day on Monday.
The market’s recent instability reflects mixed sentiments over the coronavirus situation, Kazuo Kamitani, strategist at Nomura Securities Co., pointed out.
“Some players have taken heart from the accelerated pace of vaccine rollout while others have yet to sweep away pandemic worries,” Kamitani said.
He also suggested the possibility of the market having yet to regain stability after the removal of 29 Japanese component issues in the rebalancing of MSCI global stock indexes, which took place Thursday.
“A wait-and-see attitude is growing among investors” ahead of not only the Memorial Day market closure in the United States but the release of two closely watched U.S. economic indicators for May later this week, Masayuki Otani, chief market analyst at Securities Japan Inc., said.
Otani was referring to the Institute for Supply Management’s manufacturing purchasing managers’ index, due out on Tuesday, and the Labor Department’s employment report, on Friday.
He also attributed Monday’s downturn to “month-end anxiety,” for unknown reasons, among investors.
On the TSE first section, decliners outnumbered gainers 1,712 to 420 while 60 issues were unchanged. Volume shrank to 1.020 billion shares from Friday’s 1.356 billion shares.
Renesas Electronics plummeted 5.51% after the company announced Friday a plan to issue new shares.
Automaker Nissan dropped 2.57% due to its poor global vehicle sales.
Technology investor SoftBank and clothing retailer Fast Retailing, both Nikkei’s heavyweight components, also met with selling.
Meanwhile, drugmaker Astellas drew popularity along with its industry peers.
Growing expectations for an early recovery in travel demand led to buying of tourism-linked names including travel agency KNT-CT and event ticket sellers Pia and OpenDoor.
In index futures trading on the Osaka Exchange, the key June contract on the Nikkei average fell 220 points to end at 28,900.
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