Tokyo stocks fall back on Wall Street plunge, stronger yen


Tokyo stocks pulled back into negative territory Tuesday in the wake of a Wall Street sell-off and the yen’s strengthening against the dollar amid growing concerns over the U.S. economy.

The Nikkei 225 average fell 149.69 points, or 0.64 percent, to end at 23,379.81 after advancing 235.59 points Monday.

The Topix, which covers all first-section issues on the Tokyo Stock Exchange, finished down 7.76 points, or 0.45 percent, lower at 1,706.73 following a 15.13-point rise Monday.

The market took a dive right after the opening bell and sank deeper, forcing the Nikkei to suffer a loss of some 340 points around midmorning.

Sentiment was dampened by tumbles in all three major U.S. market indicators, including the Dow Jones Industrial Average, on Monday following the Institute for Supply Management’s release of a dismal U.S. manufacturing index reading for November, brokers said.

Tokyo stocks were hit as well by anxieties over the state of the U.S. economy, they noted.

Both the Nikkei and Topix, however, cut their losses thanks to buying on a dip and buybacks later in the morning and resisted dropping further in the afternoon helped by buying stemming from Chinese stocks’ resilience.

Chihiro Ota, general manager for investment research and investor services at SMBC Nikko Securities Inc., pointed out that investors’ disappointment at the key U.S. manufacturing index, which indicated a deepening production slump, was big.

“Players were expecting an improvement in the ISM index after seeing signs of a pickup in the Chinese economy shown by latest data from Beijing,” he said.

On the first section, falling issues far outnumbered rising ones 1,540 to 551, while 66 issues were unchanged. Volume rose to 1.074 billion shares from 946 million Monday.

Cyclicals, such as Nippon Steel and paper manufacturer Oji Holdings, fell on U.S. slump concerns.

Pigeon tumbled 13.81 percent after the baby product manufacturer released poor earnings for February-October.

Drugmaker Eisai and convenience store chain FamilyMart were sold as well.

On the other hand, game maker Nintendo jumped 2.66 percent.

Among other winners were oil resources developer Inpex and chipmaking gear manufacturer Tokyo Electron.



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