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Nikkei snaps 4-day winning streak on weak tech shares

This file photo shows Tokyo Stock Exchange. (Mainichi)

TOKYO (Kyodo) -- Tokyo stocks ended lower Tuesday, with the Nikkei index snapping a four-day rally, as investors sold technology shares after some released weak earnings results the previous day.

    The 225-issue Nikkei Stock Average ended down 249.28 points, or 0.88 percent, from Monday at 27,999.96. The broader Topix index finished 14.39 points, or 0.74 percent, lower at 1,937.02.

    On the top-tier Prime Market, decliners were led by information and communication, electric appliance and bank issues.

    In the currency market, the U.S. dollar moved little in the upper 134 yen zone in Tokyo as market participants mostly sat on the sidelines ahead of the release Wednesday of U.S. consumer price index data, dealers said.

    At 5 p.m., the dollar fetched 134.88-90 yen compared with 134.95-135.05 yen in New York and 134.98-135.00 yen in Tokyo at 5 p.m. Monday.

    The euro was quoted at $1.0214-0216 and 137.77-81 yen against $1.0189-0199 and 137.64-74 yen in New York and $1.0208-0210 and 137.79-83 yen in Tokyo late Monday afternoon.

    The yield on the bellwether 10-year Japanese government bond fell 0.010 percentage point from Monday's close to 0.160 percent, tracking an overnight fall in long-term U.S. Treasury yields.

    Stocks were pressured by the disappointing earnings results and forecast of Tokyo Electron Ltd., and a huge quarterly loss by SoftBank Group Corp., said Kazuo Kamitani, a strategist in the Investment Content Department of Nomura Securities Co.

    SoftBank Group reported Monday a net loss of 3.16 trillion yen ($23.4 billion) in the April-June quarter, the biggest quarterly loss ever by a Japanese company, while Tokyo Electron's net profit in the first quarter failed to meet market expectations.

    SoftBank Group sank 400 yen, or 7 percent, to 5,295 yen, and Tokyo Electron plunged 4,100 yen, or 8.2 percent, to 45,600 yen.

    Moves to lock in gains after the benchmark Nikkei ended the previous day at a four-month high also weighed on the market, analysts said.

    "Investors want to sell when the Nikkei rises above the psychologically important 28,000 line. There will need to be more positive cues to stay above that level," Kamitani said.

    Market participants, meanwhile, refrained from taking bold positions before the upcoming U.S. inflation data and a national holiday in Japan on Thursday, analysts said.

    Among Prime Market issues, decliners outnumbered advancers 1,198 to 581, while 59 ended unchanged.

    Trading volume on the Prime Market rose to 1,125.24 million shares from Monday's 1,123.35 million.

    SoftBank Group's fall prompted selling of its peers in the communications sector. KDDI slid 72 yen, or 1.7 percent, to 4,132 yen, and Nippon Telegraph and Telephone fell 71 yen, or 1.9 percent, to 3,720 yen.

    Among other technology issues, Advantest was down 270 yen, or 3.1 percent, at 8,420 yen and Screen Holdings declined 330 yen, or 3 percent, to 9,730 yen.

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