Japan’s Nikkei Ends at 8-week Low on US Peers’ Weakness (Update 1)

Yomiuri Shimbun file photo
Tokyo Stock Exchange

TOKYO (Reuters) – Japan’s Nikkei share average fell nearly 2% on Tuesday to close at an eight-week low as technology stocks tracked the overnight declines on Wall Street.

The Nikkei fell 1.94% to 38,471.20, its lowest close since Feb. 21. The index lost as much as 2.3% during the session.

The broader Topix lost 2.04% to 2,697.11.

“Japanese stocks tracked overnight U.S. equities lower,” Shuutarou Yasuda, a market analyst at Tokai Tokyo Intelligence Laboratory said.

U.S. stocks closed sharply lower due to a jump in Treasury yields and concerns about rising geopolitical tensions between Iran and Israel.

“The yen’s weakness did not help lift appetite for local stocks because the yen kept its momentum against other currencies. It is just that the dollar was strong against other currencies,” Yasuda said.

The dollar rose to a five-month high against major peer currencies on Tuesday following hotter-than-expected U.S. retail sales figures, with the yen JPY=EBS breaching 154 per dollar to its weakest level in 34 years.

Among individual stocks, chip-making equipment maker Tokyo Electron slid 4.15% to become the biggest drag on the Nikkei, while chip-testing equipment maker Advantest lost 3.76%.

Uniqlo-brand owner Fast Retailing fell 1.8%.

Retailing tanked 9.15% to become the worst percentage loser on the Nikkei after the department store operator cut its annual profit forecast. Its peer Isetan Mitsukoshi Holdings lost 8.3%.

Bucking the trend, Toho surged 7.4% after the cinema operator posted a 35.5% rise in its annual net profit and announced a share buyback program.

Nidec jumped 6.87% after the motor maker announced a tenfold production capacity expansion in Thailand to make water-cooling modules for AI servers.

Of the 225 components on the Nikkei, 33 stocks rose and 191 fell, with one flat.