Tokyo stocks fall

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JapanBrokerage REUTERS A man looks at his watch as he passes an electronic board displaying a graph of currency rates outside a brokerage in Tokyo.

Tokyo - Tokyo stocks ended slightly lower Wednesday after a weak session on Wall Street where investors reacted to the Fed's warning over “stretched” valuations in some equity sectors.

The Nikkei 225 index slipped 0.10 percent, or 15.86 points, to finish at 15,379.30, while the Topix index of all first-section shares was flat, slipping 0.01 percent, or 0.09 points, to 1,273.59.

Many players kept hands off the market ahead of the corporate earnings season, which will begin later this month, dealers said.

“The market is in wait-and-see mode pending the start of major corporate earnings announcements beginning next week,” Yoshihiro Okumura, general manager at Chibagin Asset Management, told Dow Jones Newswires.

“In that context, little that Bank of Japan governor (Haruhiko) Kuroda or Fed Chair (Janet) Yellen have to say will profoundly affect the market,” he said.

In the US Tuesday, the Nasdaq dropped 0.54 percent after the Federal Reserve warned that some technology stocks appeared to be overvalued.

A Fed report released in conjunction with congressional testimony by Yellen said smaller stocks in social media and biotechnology “appear substantially stretched”.

Yellen also said the central bank could implement interest rate increases sooner than expected if the job market continues to make solid improvements.

However, she added that the recovery “is not yet complete”.

The April-June Chinese gross domestic product data, showing 7.5 percent year-on-year growth, had little impact, dealers added.

The greenback was at 101.68 yen in Tokyo trade Wednesday compared with 101.67 yen in New York Tuesday afternoon.

The euro bought $1.3566 and 137.96 yen compared with $1.3570 and 137.97 yen in US trade.

Japanese chip-related issues rose on strong earnings and outlook from Intel overnight.

Toshiba rose 0.20 percent to 483, and Canon added 0.59 percent to 3,394.

Among major shares, Toyota Motors rose 0.34 percent to 6,044.

Mobile carrier SoftBank added 0.79 percent to 7,753.

Kyushu Electric firmed 0.79 percent to 1,262 as Japan's Nuclear Regulation Authority declared the utility's two reactors as safe to operate.

The government and the utility were expected to bring the reactors online later this year, the first since Japan ushered in stricter safety guidelines last year following the Fukushima crisis. - Sapa-AFP


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