Tokyo stocks close lower on profit-taking

Tokyo stocks close lower on profit-taking

Tokyo: Tokyo stocks fell on Thursday as investors locked in profits following a three-day rally, with a strong yen weighing on the market.

The benchmark Nikkei 225 index lost 0.99 percent or 227.77 points to close at 22,738.61 while the broader Topix index was down 0.92 percent or 16.48 points at 1,783.89.

“Investors cashed in as prices have been rising recently,” said Hikaru Sato, senior technical analyst at Daiwa Securities.

“When the Nikkei approaches 23,000, selling pressure often emerges,” Sato told AFP.

The dollar fell against the yen in Asian afternoon trade, changing hands at 109.99 yen against 110.38 yen in New York late Wednesday.

Investors have digested Wednesday’s decision by the US Federal Reserve to lift rates as it signalled a more aggressive pace for additional hikes.

“The latest US rate hike has already been factored in by the market which had sent the dollar higher against the yen since May, supporting Japanese shares,” Masayuki Kubota, chief strategist at Rakuten Securities, said in a commentary.

“As the dollar is not really appreciating despite the rate hike, the Nikkei 225 is seen falling,” he said.

In Tokyo, pharmaceuticals were among losers, with Takeda declining 0.66 percent to 4,338 yen and Daiichi Sankyo down 0.41 percent at 3,866 yen.

Sony plunged 2.07 percent to 5,387 yen while Toyota was down 0.89 percent at 7,429 yen.

Banks were mixed as Mitsubishi UFJ dropped 0.96 percent to 670 yen but Sumitomo Mitsui Financial rose 0.35 percent at 4,569 yen.

Tokyo Electric Power Company Holdings lost 0.77 percent to 514 yen after the utility said it was considering decommissioning all nuclear power plants in Fukushima.

On Wednesday, Wall Street stocks finished lower, with the Dow closing down 0.5 percent at 25,201.20.