Nikkei Succumbs to Profit-Taking

Yomiuri Shimbun file photo
Tokyo Stock Exchange

TOKYO (Jiji Press) — The benchmark Nikkei stock average fell Thursday amid profit-taking, which especially dragged down semiconductor issues.

The Nikkei average of 225 issues listed on the Tokyo Stock Exchange’s top-tier Prime section dropped 310.26 points, or 0.92%, to finish at 33,264.88.

Meanwhile, the broader TOPIX index inched up 1.49 points, or 0.06 %, to end at 2,296.50.

Stocks moved in a narrow range in the morning, sandwiched between selling to lock in profits and buying on dips, before profit-taking accelerated in the afternoon.

“Although no fresh selling incentives emerged, the fact that the Nikkei fell below its morning low spurred heavier selling pressure in the afternoon,” said Masahiro Ichikawa, chief market strategist at Sumitomo Mitsui DS Asset Management Co.

Chip-related issues followed overnight weakness in their U.S. counterparts, said Chihiro Ota, general manager for investment research and investor services at SMBC Nikko Securities Inc.

On the other hand, laggard value stocks such as banks and trading houses attracted buying, supporting the TOPIX index, brokers said.

On the Prime section, decliners outnumbered gainers 970 to 800 while 63 issues were unchanged. Volume grew to 1.452 billion shares from Wednesday’s 1.308 billion shares.