Tokyo: The Nikkei average dipped 0.1% on Wednesday, with Toyota Motor and other exporters sliding on a bleak outlook for the global economy, while bank shares fell on worries about the US financial system.
But a surge in Chinese stocks on hopes for a government stimulus package sparked buying of stocks linked to demand from emerging economies such as trading house Mitsubishi Corp briefly helping the Nikkei into positive territory.
“The short covering that we saw earlier doesn’t mean we will be seeing a large rebound in the market,” said Zenshiro Mizuno, senior managing director of the equity trading division at Marusan Securities.
“Financial worries haven’t been solved and they continue to exist,” Mizuno added.
The benchmark Nikkei shed 13.36 points to end at 12,851.69, the lowest close since 18 July. The broader Topix edged down 0.2% to 1,233.37.
“Worries about the overall global economy weighed on exporters and especially automakers, which are suffering from falling demand in the European and US markets,” said Soichiro Monji, strategist at Daiwa SB Investments.
Toyota shed 1.8% to 4,830 yen and Canon Inc lost 2% to 5,040 yen, the top drag on the Nikkei 225.
Most banks shares were weak after US stocks fell for a second straight session on Tuesday on fears that US home finance firms Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac may need a government bailout.
Top lender Mitsubishi UFJ Financial Group fell 1.5% to 817 yen, while Sumitomo Mitsui Financial Group the third-biggest bank, slid 1% to 675,000 yen.
However, No.2 Mizuho Financial Group added 0.2% to 468,000 yen.
Mitsui O.S.K. Lines and other shippers also weighed on the market after the Baltic Exchange’s chief sea freight index fell 1% on Tuesday, its first decline in five days.
Mitsui declined 2.5% to 1,262 yen, while Nippon Yusen KK shed 2.7% to 852 yen. Kawasaki Kisen Kaisha slipped 1.5% to 774 yen.