31 Jan 2018 – 10:39

Tokyo stocks close lower again after Wall Street sell-off

A pedestrian walks past a stock market indicator board in Tokyo, Japan, 30 January 2018. EPA / FRANCK ROBICHON


Tokyo: Tokyo’s benchmark Nikkei index extended its losing streak for the sixth straight day on Wednesday after a sell-off on Wall Street, with investors apparently unfazed over US President Donald Trump’s State of Union address.

The Nikkei 225 index lost 0.83 percent or 193.68 points to close at 23,098.29 while the broader Topix index was down 1.15 percent or 21.42 points at 1,836.71.

Investors were discouraged after seeing US stocks tumbling for a second straight session, said Makoto Sengoku, market analyst at Tokai Tokyo Research Centre.

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“Selling to lock in profits is continuing,” he told AFP.

Investors were also “hesitant to go for active buying on dips ahead of earnings reports by major companies,” he said.

US President Donald Trump’s biggest speech of the year before Congress ended with “no big surprise,” SMBC economists said in a commentary.

“President Trump withholds radical remarks at formal speech occasions and it was the case this time as well,” they said.

The dollar slipped to 108.63 yen from 108.81 yen in New York, with investors waiting for a Federal Reserve announcement that could signal an acceleration of interest rate increases.

In Tokyo stocks trade, Fujifilm closed down 8.31 percent at 4,190 yen towards the end of trading, just before it formally announced 10,000 job cuts by March 2020 in its Fuji Xerox subsidiary, citing an “increasingly severe” market environment.

Energy stocks fell on lower oil prices with oil explorer Inpex off 2.40 percent to 1,419 yen.

Toyota was down 1.95 percent at 7,480 yen, while Nintendo rose 2.04 percent to 47,970 yen ahead of its earnings announcement later Wednesday.

After the market close, Nintendo announced a 40-percent boost in its annual net-profit forecast on strong sales.