Tokyo Stocks Turn Lower, Dampened by Tech Weakness

Yomiuri Shimbun file photo
Tokyo Stock Exchange

TOKYO (Jiji Press) — Tokyo stocks turned lower on Monday, weighed down mainly by the weakness of technology-oriented issues.

The Nikkei average of 225 selected issues listed on the Tokyo Stock Exchange’s Prime section gave up 243.66 points, or 0.88%, to finish at 27,427.32 after gaining 86.63 points Friday.

The broader TOPIX index closed 9.29 points, or 0.47%, lower at 1,977.67, snapping its six-session winning streak. The index was up 1.96 points the previous trading day.

The market got off to a weak start, with semiconductor-related and other tech shares under hefty selling after the tech-heavy U.S. Nasdaq composite index continued to drop on Friday, reflecting fears of prolonged interest rate hikes by the U.S. Federal Reserve.

The Nikkei average temporarily lost over 400 points in the morning, partly pushed down by losses in some companies that reported dismal earnings on Friday, such as Shiseido.

In the afternoon, both the Nikkei and TOPIX indexes saw their downsides supported by the yen’s weakening against the dollar.

“Stocks were susceptible to selling on rally and profit-taking selling amid a cautious mood ahead of the release (on Tuesday) of the U.S. consumer price index for January,” said Chihiro Ota, general manager for investment research and investor services at SMBC Nikko Securities Inc.

The Tokyo market’s reaction on Monday appeared to be limited to Friday’s media reports that the Japanese government will nominate economist Kazuo Ueda as the next governor of the Bank of Japan.

“The banking sector performed relatively well while the overall sentiment was bearish, suggesting that there are some expectations that the BOJ, under Kazuo Ueda, might change its monetary easing policy, such as scraping the yield curve control scheme,” Kazuo Kamitani, strategist at Nomura Securities Co., noted.

On the Prime section, decliners outnumbered gainers 1,181 to 583 while 72 issues were unchanged. Volume decreased to 1,159 million shares from Friday’s 1,396 million shares.