Japan’s Nikkei Surrenders Early Gains as Investors Lock in Profits

Yomiuri Shimbun file photo
Tokyo Stock Exchange

TOKYO (Reuters) – Japan’s Nikkei share average gave up early gains to trade lower on Monday as investors sold stocks to lock profits in a directionless trade after a U.S. holiday shortened-session over the weekend.

The Nikkei index was down 0.43% at 33,479.71 by the midday break after opening higher and rising as much 0.6%.

The broader Topix had fallen 0.39% to 2,381.63.

“The market opened higher but reversed course because investors tried to book their profits,” said Shoichi Arisawa, general manager of the investment research department at IwaiCosmo Securities.

“The market showed no clear direction as trading seemed to be thin after the U.S. holiday and also there were almost no market moving cues. But weak U.S. futures in the current session weighed on sentiment.”

U.S. stocks ended little changed in holiday-shortened trading on Friday, with low volume and conviction, as investors watched the start of the seasonal shopping season for signs of consumer resilience.

Technology investor SoftBank Group fell 1.94% to drag the Nikkei the most. Ceramics maker Kyocera fell 1.79%.

Mitsubishi Heavy Industries slipped 5.09% to become the worst performer in terms of percentage on the Nikkei.

Taisho Pharmaceutical was untraded with a glut of buy orders as the drug maker announced a management buyout at 8,620 yen per share, which would take the company private.

The stock was quoted at its daily upper price limit of 6,546 yen by the midday break.

Television maker Sharp rose 2.85% to become the top percentage performer on the Nikkei.

Shippers rose 1.36% to become the top performer among the 33 industry sub-indexes on the Tokyo Stock Exchange.