Japan’s Nikkei Eases amid Yen Strength after Sharp Gains

Yomiuri Shimbun file photo
Yomiuri Shimbun file photo

TOKYO (Reuters) – Japan’s Nikkei share average fell on Thursday as investors sold stocks after sharp gains in the previous session, while the yen’s strength against the dollar hurt sentiment.

The Nikkei was down 0.53% at 33,503.94 by the midday break, after rising more than 1% in the previous session in a four-session rally.

The broader Topix was down 0.31% at 2,358.08.

“The Nikkei declined as investors sold stocks after its sharp gains in the previous session,” said Jun Morita, general manager of the research department at Chibagin Asset Management.

“Also, investors could not find reasons for buying stocks amid the yen’s rise against the dollar.”

The Japanese yen JPY=EBS strengthened, inching closer to a five-month peak it touched earlier this month, as the dollar nursed steep losses against major currencies. FRX/

A stronger yen tends to hurt exporter shares as it decreases the value of overseas profits in yen terms when firms repatriate them to Japan.

Uniqlo clothing shop operator Fast Retailing lost 0.98% to drag the Nikkei the most. Chip-testing equipment maker Advantest and chip-making equipment maker Tokyo Electron lost 2.36% and 0.78%, respectively.

Toyota Motor slipped 0.78%, becoming the biggest drag on the Topix.

Shipping firms lost 3.51% and were the worst performer among the Tokyo Stock Exchange’s 33 industry sub-indexes.

Bucking the trend, DIC jumped 4.58% after an activist fund Oasis Management emerged as a shareholder of the printing materials maker with a 6.9% stake.