Tokyo shares slip after Wall Street rout

Tokyo shares slip after Wall Street rout

Tokyo: Tokyo shares ended lower Wednesday following a sharp fall in US stocks as fears over weakness in the technology sector spread throughout the wider market.

The benchmark Nikkei 225 index dropped 0.35 percent, or 75.58 points, to 21,507.54, while the broader Topix index fell 0.60 percent, or 9.78 points, to 1,615.89.

“Global equity futures were flashing red on tech sector concerns,” Stephen Innes, head of trading for Asia Pacific at Oanda, said in a note.

He cited fears over trade tensions following an acrimonious exchange between China and the US at a recent summit of Asia-Pacific leaders and comments from the Federal Reserve that Trump administration fiscal stimulus will fade in 2019.

“There was no place to go but down for equities,” said Innes.

“Also, investors are deeply concerned that technology could be the US administration’s new battleground,” with officials reportedly laying the groundwork for technology sector trade controls, noted the analyst.

The Tokyo market opened down across the board, but bargain hunting helped to ease the pain, Okasan Online Securities said in a note.

“Following sharp falls of the major US indices, the Nikkei index started the day sharply lower,” Okasan said.

“The Nikkei dropped by more than 300 yen at one point. But after a round of selling subsided, buyers came in hoping for a technical rebound and provided support for the market,” it said.

More buying came in on speculation for share purchases by the Bank of Japan’s monetary easing programme, Okasan added.

Crisis-hit Nissan managed to stay above water, ending up 0.36 percent at 954.1 yen after plunging 5.45 percent the previous session following chairman Carlos Ghosn’s arrest.

Fellow auto alliance firm Mitsubishi Motors lost 1.03 percent to 673 yen after a 6.84 percent dive Tuesday.

The Japanese daily Asahi reported Wednesday that Tokyo prosecutors are set to charge Nissan over alleged under-reporting of his pay at Nissan.

Among blue-chip tech firms, Sony lost 0.40 percent to 5,686 yen and Panasonic fell 0.59 percent to 1,102.5 yen, while SoftBank Group shot into positive territory, ending up 0.70 percent at 8,865 yen.

The dollar fetched 112.82 yen in Asian trade, compared with 112.75 yen in New York late Tuesday.