Tokyo: Japanese stocks closed lower on Wednesday following a shock resignation announcement by Prime Minister Shinzo Abe, with the Nikkei down by 0.5% as political uncertainty weighed on the market amid thin trade. Sales of futures contributed to the decline, which saw shares of banks such as Sumitomo Mitsui Financial Group slide.
The Nikkei average ended down by 80.07 points at 15,797.60, while the broader TOPIX index was down 0.3 percent to 1,528.27.
Updates to mid afternoon
Tokyo: Japan’s Nikkei average turned negative on in afternoon trade on Wednesday, 12 September, reversing a brief rally after news that Prime Minister Shinzo Abe intended to resign. It was down 0.3% as of 0415 GMT.
The Nikkei lost 26.26 points, to 15,851.41, while the broader TOPIX was up 0.1% at 1,534.26.
Tokyo: Japan’s Nikkei average rose 0.4% on 12 September morning with investors encouraged by Wall Street gains and a pause in the yen’s advance snapping up Sumitomo Realty & Development Co Ltd and Fanuc Ltd
Shares of Komatsu Ltd jumped after the Nikkei business daily said it would raise its first-half dividend, while energy shares such as Nippon Oil Corp and INPEX Holdings Inc advanced following a surge in oil prices.
But gains are seen as limited amid a dearth of positive news to support active buying. The benchmark struggled to rise above the psychologically key 16,000 mark.
“Following the surprisingly weak US employment data, investors remain hesitant to make active buying ahead of FOMC,” said Yosuke Shimizu, head of the investment information centre at Monex Inc, referring to a Federal Reserve policy meeting on 18 September, when interest rate cut is widely expected.
Shimizu said moves in the forex market are likely to determine the direction of the day’s stock market, with active selling expected once the dollar slips below 114 yen.
The dollar was around 114.10 yen down slightly from around 114.30 yen in late New York.
The Nikkei average ended the morning up 56.69 points at 15,934.36, while the broader TOPIX index climbed 0.5% to 1,540.25.
Trade was thin with 689 million shares changing hands, compared with an average of 788 million in morning trade last week.
Advancing shares outnumbered decliners by 1,020 to 532.