• Jiji


The benchmark 225-issue Nikkei average fell back moderately in quiet trading Monday, weighed down by falls in technology-oriented shares.

The Nikkei closed down 18.16 points, or 0.06%, at 29,048.02, after rising 190.95 points Friday.

Meanwhile, the Topix gained 3.02 points, or 0.15%, to end at 1,965.67, following a 15.55-point rise the previous trading day.

The market opened higher, after two of the three major U.S. stock indexes including the Dow Jones industrial average rose further Friday.

But the Nikkei soon fell into negative terrain, as its heavily weighted tech components such as Tokyo Electron and Advantest met with renewed selling stemming from a modest setback for the U.S. Nasdaq.

In the afternoon, the key price gauge went sideways in a range slightly below Friday’s close, with its downside underpinned by the popularity of Fast Retailing — another heavyweight component — and economically sensitive cyclicals.

The broader Topix managed to stay on the sunny side throughout the calm session, amid a dearth of major events.

“Many investors were sitting on the fence, waiting for two closely watched U.S. economic indicators for June to be released later this week,” said Kazuo Kamitani, strategist at Nomura Securities Co.

He was referring to the Institute for Supply Management’s manufacturing purchasing managers’ index, due out on Thursday, and the Labor Department’s employment report, out Friday.

“There were no reasons to actively buy or sell today,” said Masahiro Ichikawa, chief market strategist at Sumitomo Mitsui DS Asset Management.

Traders aim to gather clues from the jobs report and other U.S. economic data about when the Federal Reserve will start tapering its quantitative easing, Ichikawa noted.

The results of the Bank of Japan’s tankan short-term business outlook survey, to be announced Thursday, are also attracting market attention, he added.

On the first section of the Tokyo Stock Exchange, gainers outnumbered decliners 1,466 to 624 while 102 issues were flat. Volume dropped to 870 million shares from Friday’s 904 million shares.

Chipmaking equipment maker Tokyo Electron lost 1.63% and semiconductor test device manufacturer Advantest 1.28%.

Medical information provider M3, also a Nikkei component, met with selling.

Online advertising firm i-mobile tumbled 7.22% after the company said it would issue more new shares to meet listing requirements for a proposed TSE prime market.

Other losers included drugmakers Eisai and Chugai.

Conversely, Erex soared 6.47% following a media report that precision equipment maker Shimadzu will buy electricity from the renewable energy firm for some plants.

Seven & I Holdings jumped 4.47% on expectations that the Japanese retail group’s buyout of U.S. convenience store chain Speedway will eventually be approved.

Hitachi Zosen, a manufacturer of environmental systems, went up 4.10% on a report that it would increase output capacity for the steel foundations of offshore windmills by 2023.

Steelmakers JFE and Nippon Steel and megabank groups Mitsubishi UFJ, Sumitomo Mitsui and Mizuho attracted buying as cyclicals.

In index futures trading on the Osaka Exchange, the key September contract on the Nikkei average fell 90 points to end at 28,950.

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