Tokyo stocks end at 4-month low, investors cautious

Tokyo stocks closed at a four-month low Tuesday on late profit-taking and a strong yen, giving up an early rally as investors stayed cautious despite two days of gains on Wall Street.

The benchmark Nikkei 225 index fell 0.65 percent or 137.94 points, to 21,244.68, while the broader Topix index was down 0.88 percent or 15.19 points, at 1,716.78.

The Nikkei had opened on a positive note, tracking US stocks on bargain-buying last week's battering.

Wall Street has been under pressure since a strong jobs report at the start of the month sparked fears the Federal Reserve will accelerate the pace of interest rate hikes to stave off inflation.

But the bellwether Tokyo index fell into negative territory in afternoon trade on profit-taking.

“Some players cashed in on early gains in late trading, which proved investors remained cautious despite the gains on Wall Street,” Hikaru Sato, senior technical analyst at Daiwa Securities, told AFP.

A strong yen also depressed market sentiment, Sato added.

The dollar was trading at 108.09 yen against 108.64 yen in New York and experts warned that volatility was likely to continue.

“The Japanese stock market will face large price movements this week too,” Okasan Online Securities said in a note.

“The market … will have some more swings until volatility subdues,” it said.

Banks lost early gains as Mizuho closed 0.91 percent lower at 195.9 yen with Mitsubishi UFJ Financial down 1.46 percent at 767.4 yen.

Fujifilm plunged 3.22 percent to 4,316 yen after media reports activist investor Carl Icahn was against a proposed takeover of Xerox.

The Japanese technology group announced last month it would combine Fuji Xerox with US giant Xerox, bringing both companies under its umbrella to create what it said was the world's largest “document solutions company” by revenue.

Sony sank 1.44 percent to 5,099 yen and Toyota dropped 2.53 percent to 7,276 yen – APP

Posted on: 2018-02-13T12:57:00+05:00