Tokyo stocks end lower despite soaring Softbank Group

Tokyo: Tokyo stocks closed lower on Thursday despite a stellar performance from telecoms and investment firm Softbank Group, which shot up nearly 18 percent after a huge buyback of its shares.

After a lacklustre trading day, Japan’s benchmark Nikkei 225 index was down 0.59 percent, or 122.78 points, at 20,751.28, while the broader Topix index fell 0.83 percent, or 13.10 points, to 1,569.03.

“Following falls in US shares, profit-taking led the trade” in Tokyo, Yoshihiro Ito, chief strategist at Okasan Online Securities, said in a note.

US shares ended down after a batch of mixed earnings, with President Donald Trump’s State of the Union address on Tuesday night having little effect on stocks.

Investors were also taking a wait-and-see attitude on concerns over China-US trade talks and the two day US-North Korea summit planned for later this month, analysts said.

The dollar fetched 109.98 yen, against 109.97 yen in New York.

Automakers were the among losers in Tokyo partly because of “concerns over the US-China trade war” and the risk of a wider global economic slowdown, said Masayuki Kubota, chief strategist at Rakuten Securities in a note.

Toyota fell 1.90 percent to 6,575 yen, Honda was off 1.08 percent at 3,002 yen and Nissan finished down 0.23 percent at 928 yen.

Concerns that Japanese carmakers are lagging behind their global competitors in the shift to electric vehicles from hybrid cars is also impacting their stocks, Kubota added.