• Reuters

Nikkei Trades Lower as Investors Book Profits, Yen Rebound Weighs

Yomiuri Shimbun file photo
Tokyo Stock Exchange

TOKYO (Reuters) – Japan’s Nikkei share average traded lower on Tuesday as investors sold stocks to lock in profits from recent gains, with the yen’s rebound against the dollar further weighing on sentiment.

The Nikkei was down 0.23% at 33,370.40 by the midday break after opening 0.22% higher.

“The Nikkei failed to end higher than its highest closing level in three decades scaled on July 3 three times recently,” said Jun Morita, general manager of the research department at Chibagin Asset Management.

“Under these conditions, short-term investors wanted to sell stocks to book profits for now.”

The index on Nov. 20 hit its highest level since March 1990 and it has been close to that level in two sessions since then.

However, none of these sessions closed higher than the close on July 3.

The broader Topix was down 0.45% at 2,371.13, with Toyota Motor 7203.T falling 1.03% to drag the index lower.

Seiichi Suzuki, chief equity market analyst at Tokai Tokyo Research Institute, said sentiment was also hurt by a rise in the yen, which prompted a sell-off.

The yen JPY=EBS held around 148.10 as the U.S. dollar ticked down to a three-month low against peers on Tuesday after slipping overnight on weaker-than-expected new home sales data. FRX/

The owner of Uniqlo’s brand shop operator rose 1.48% and technology investor SoftBank Group gained 0.28%. Furniture and home goods shop operator Nitori Holdings rose 2.05%.

Taisho Pharmaceutical not traded yet due to a glut of buy orders, after surging to its daily limit high in the previous session.

The drugmaker last week 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 7,545 yen by the midday break.

Trading firm Sojitz surged 7.15% to become the top performer on the Nikkei.

Television maker Sharp lost 7.93% and was the worst performer on the index.