Nikkei Ends Lower as Investors Book Profits, Yen Rebound Weighs

Yomiuri Shimbun file photo
Tokyo Stock Exchange

TOKYO (Reuters) – Japan’s Nikkei share average fell on Tuesday as investors locked in profits from recent gains, with the yen’s rebound against the dollar also weighing on sentiment.

The Nikkei closed 0.12% lower at 33,408.39 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 had hit its highest level since March 1990 on Nov. 20, and has been close to that level in two sessions since then.

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

The broader Topix slipped 0.21% to 2,376.71, with Toyota Motor falling 0.54% to drag the index lower the most.

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 gained momentum as the U.S. dollar ticked down to a three-month low on Tuesday after slipping overnight on weaker-than-expected new home sales data.

Shares of Denso fell 4.85% after Reuters reported Toyota group companies plan to cut their holdings in the supplier by selling around 10% of the company by year-end.

Meanwhile, Taisho Pharmaceutical 4581.T surged to its daily limit high for a second day, ending 15.28% higher at 7,545 yen after being untraded most of the day with a glut of buy orders.

The drugmaker last week announced a management buyout at 8,620 yen per share, which would take the company private.

Trading firm Sojitz surged 8.46% to become the top performer on the Nikkei, while television maker Sharp tanked 9.49% and was the worst performer.