Tokyo shares close lower as investors take profits

The benchmark Nikkei 225 index slipped 0.19 per cent, or 45.61 points, to 23,827.98. — AFP pic
The benchmark Nikkei 225 index slipped 0.19 per cent, or 45.61 points, to 23,827.98. — AFP pic

TOKYO, Feb 7 ― Tokyo stocks snapped a three-day winning streak today as investors locked in profits while concerns over the economic impact of the coronavirus outbreak eased.

The benchmark Nikkei 225 index slipped 0.19 per cent, or 45.61 points, to 23,827.98. Over the week, it rallied 2.68 per cent.

The broader Topix index lost 0.28 per cent, or 4.84 points, to 1,732.14, chalking up a weekly gain of 2.83 per cent.

As for Friday's drop, Makoto Sengoku, market analyst at Tokai Tokyo Research Institute, said it was “a reaction to the recent rises”.

“Today's drop is not so big considering the Nikkei rose nearly 600 points yesterday alone,” he noted, arguing that market sentiment was not bad.

Okasan Online Securities said in a note that “the market is now in a phase to roll back bearish positions linked to the new virus”.

In the afternoon, traders were sitting on their hands ahead of the weekend and before the release later in the day of key US jobs data, said Okasan Online's chief strategist Yoshihiro Ito.

The dollar was quoted at ¥109.94 (RM4.13) against ¥109.97 in New York.

Some exporters lost ground owing to the expected impact of the virus.

Honda dropped 2.70 per cent to ¥2,857.5 after the Nikkei business daily reported it will extend its Wuhan plant closure at least until late February.

Toyota dipped 0.65 per cent to ¥7,862 after the auto giant said it would keep its Chinese factories shut until February 16, extending its suspension by a week.

And Nintendo lost 0.97 per cent to ¥40,500 after the game giant warned of a supply shortage of its popular Switch console and controllers in Japan caused by “inevitable” delays in production and shipments from factories in China.

There will be no major impact on supplies to the US and European markets but a shortage is also expected in some parts of Asia including Hong Kong, Singapore, South Korea and Taiwan, according to a Nintendo spokesman.

IT investor SoftBank Group jumped 7.12 per cent to ¥5,064 after news US hedge fund Elliott Management has built a more than US$2.5-billion stake in the Japanese group. ― AFP

Related Articles