• Reuters

Japan’s Nikkei Softens on Profit-Taking as Investors Weigh Earnings (Update 1)

Yomiuri Shimbun file photo
Tokyo Stock Exchange

TOKYO (Reuters) – Japan’s Nikkei share average fell on Tuesday as investors booked profits on high stock prices and continued to assess domestic earnings reports.

The Nikkei index closed down 0.53% at 36,160.66, with 70 of the index’s 225 constituents gaining against 154 decliners.

The broader Topix fell 0.68% to 2,539.25.

Japanese stock indexes tracked their Wall Street peers, which closed lower overnight as the market reacted to mixed U.S. earnings reports and pushback from the Federal Reserve against speculation of imminent interest rate cuts.

“It doesn’t feel like there is much movement based on an overall theme” in Japan’s stock market on Tuesday so much as focus on individual stocks, said Hiroshi Namioka, chief strategist at T&D Asset Management.

With Japan’s earnings season well underway, investors weighed revenue announcements from companies, and financial results, combined with high prices, generated some profit-taking.

Automaker Toyota Motor was among a host of companies to announce third-quarter earnings on Tuesday; the index heavyweight gave the market a brief boost after announcing it raised its full-year operating profit forecast by nearly 9%.

Toyota Motor shares gained 4.78%, rebounding sharply after declining in the morning session.

Other shares that pulled ahead on positive financial results included Mitsubishi Heavy Industries Ltd, which gained 6.43% to come in as the best performer of the day, followed by Nippon Electric Glass Co Ltd gaining 5.88% and Nissui Corp rising 5.57%.

Semiconductor-related shares were also up, with Advantest gaining 2.95%, after Nvidia hit afresh record high overnight following Goldman Sachs raising itsprice target.

The largest percentage losses in the index came from electrical equipment manufacturer Omron Corp, down 15.27%, followed by Pacific Metals Co Ltd declining 10.07% and delivery service Yamato Holdings Co Ltd losing 7.28%.