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Tokyo's Nikkei closes down over 2%

Feb 08 2019 10:22

Tokyo shares closed lower on Friday, following a global market slide stemming from the lowered European economic outlook as well as receding hopes for smooth progress in US-China trade talks.

The benchmark Nikkei 225 index dropped 2.01% or 418.11 points to end at 20 333.17. Over the week, it was down 2.19%.

The broader Topix index lost 1.89% to 1 539.40. Over the week, it was down 1.61%.

"Overall Tokyo shares were down due to concerns on the US-China trade dispute," Yoshihiro Ito, chief strategist at Okasan Online Securities, said in a commentary.

Ito added that investors were cautious because of overnight falls of US and European shares.

Investors also grew wary after the EU Commission said it expected growth of 1.3% in the eurozone this year, a significant cut from the 1.9% it predicted in November, citing risks including Brexit fears, Italian economic woes and the global trade war.

In Japan, players adjusted their positions and locked in profits ahead of a three-day weekend, Okasan added.

The Tokyo market will close Monday for a national holiday. Normal trading will resume on Tuesday.

In the forex market, the dollar stood at ¥109.68, slightly lower than the ¥109.83 seen in New York on Thursday.

Shortly before the market opened, the Japanese government announced that the nation's household spending in December picked up 0.1% from a year earlier, marking the first increase in four months.

Among major shares, Sony bucked the trend, soaring 4.09% to ¥4 906 after announcing a plan for share buybacks worth up to ¥100bn.

However, as the US-China trade dispute lingers, shares related to Chinese demand faced pressure.

Industrial robot producer Fanuc Corp. fell 3.99% to ¥18 045. Hitachi Construction Machinery dropped 4.36% to ¥2 652.

Toyota was down 1.91% to ¥6 449 while Panasonic fell 2.81% to 1 002.5.

equities  |  markets  |  tokyo stocks


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