Japan’s benchmark Nikkei average ended lower in thin trading Tuesday as falls in heavyweight components helped the index lose its earlier gains.
The 225-issue Nikkei average of the Tokyo Stock Exchange gave up 55.68 points, or 0.19%, to close at 28,963.56, after rising 77.72 points Monday.
Meanwhile, the Topix index of all first section issues finished up 1.80 points, or 0.09%, at 1,962.65, extending its winning streak to a sixth market day. It rose 1.66 points the previous day.
Stocks got off to a mixed start after Wall Street failed to set a clear direction Monday.
The Nikkei sank right after opening with a mild gain, but turned up soon later thanks to the popularity of pharmaceutical names.
However, the index fell into negative terrain again in late morning trading, weighed down by selling of some heavily weighted components, such as clothing retailer Fast Retailing and technology investor SoftBank Group.
Both the Nikkei and the Topix indexes fluctuated in narrow ranges around the previous day’s closing levels in the afternoon amid a dearth of fresh market-moving factors.
Drops in Chinese and other Asian stocks dampened sentiment, said Ryuta Otsuka, strategist at Toyo Securities Co.
“On the domestic front, there has been no major market-moving news other than progress in vaccinations against the new coronavirus,” Otsuka added.
Market players remain cautious ahead of the announcement on Thursday of the US consumer price index for May, Nomura Securities Co. strategist Kazuo Kamitani said, noting that the Nikkei shed more than 2,000 points over just a few days before and after the release last month of the US CPI for April, which logged a steep year-on-year increase.
“Although the market is unlikely to face a sharp drop like that this time, attention should be paid to such a risk,” he said.
“Concerns over inflation (in the United States) and the US Federal Reserve’s possible early tapering (of its quantitative easing) are expected to continue” at least until the Fed’s Federal Open Market Committee meeting early next week, Kamitani added.
Gainers outnumbered decliners 1,399 to 692 on the TSE’s first section, while 102 issues were unchanged. Volume fell to 928 million shares from Monday’s 945 million shares.
Sumitomo Metal Mining dropped 4.07 percent on news that leftist candidate Pedro Castillo, who has vowed to nationalise Peru’s mineral resources including copper, took the lead in the vote-counting in the runoff presidential election in the South American country. The nonferrous metal company owns a 16.8 percent interest in the Cerro Verde Mine in Peru.
Fast Retailing fell 1.02%, and SoftBank Group 1.64%.
Other major losers included air conditioner-maker Daikin and chip-related Tokyo Electron and Advantest, all Nikkei heavyweight components.
Meanwhile, drugmaker Eisai ended with a maximum-allowable single-day gain of JPY 1,500 after the US Food and Drug Administration announced Monday that it has approved an Alzheimer’s disease drug developed jointly by the Japanese company and US pharmaceuticals firm Biogen. The drug, aducanumab, is the world’s first approved remedy that directly works on substances causing the disease.
Clinical testing equipment-maker Sysmex surged 9.88%, with investors taking heart from its announcement that the company’s testing kit for assessing the severity of atopic dermatitis has been approved by the Japanese health ministry for use to examine COVID-19 patients’ risk of developing severe symptoms.
Sports-related companies, including Descente and Renaissance, attracted buying from investors who believe that the possibility of this summer’s Tokyo Olympics and Paralympics being postponed again or called off is low in view of the government’s unwavering stance on holding the events in defiance of the coronavirus pandemic.
In index futures trading on the Osaka Exchange, the key June contract on the Nikkei average advanced 40 points to 29,060.
This is not a CAPTIS article. Originally, it was published here.