Tokyo stocks get off to bleak start in 2023

The Yomiuri Shimbun
Finance Minister Shunichi Suzuki rings a bell during the New Year ceremony marking the opening of trading at the Tokyo Stock Exchange on Wednesday.

TOKYO (Jiji Press) — Tokyo stocks retreated on the first 2023 trading day Wednesday, beaten by Wall Street’s overnight drop and the yen’s appreciation.

The Nikkei average of 225 selected issues listed on the Tokyo Stock Exchange’s Prime section dived 377.64 points, or 1.45%, to finish at 25,716.86, closing below 26,000 for the first time since Sept. 30 last year. On Friday, the index edged up 0.83 points.

The broader TOPIX index ended 23.56 points, or 1.25%, lower at 1,868.15, following a 3.56-point decline the previous trading day.

Selling pressure quickly built up after all three key U.S. market gauges extended losses Tuesday on renewed worries about continued interest rate hikes and a recession in the United States.

The yen’s strengthening against the dollar further dampened sentiment, brokers said.

The benchmark Nikkei average lost over 430 points in the first 10 minutes or so. Technology stocks, in particular, attracted hefty selling, as did their U.S. peers on Tuesday, Maki Sawada, strategist at Nomura Securities Co., pointed out.

On the Prime section, decliners overwhelmed gainers 1,584 to 213 while 41 issues were unchanged. Volume jumped to 1,244 million shares from Friday’s 881 million shares.