Tokyo: Japanese share prices fell 0.63% in morning trade Friday, 21 September, following Wall Street lower on renewed caution about the outlook for the US economy as well as rising crude oil prices, dealers said.
The Tokyo Stock Exchange’s benchmark Nikkei-225 index of leading shares was down 103.70 points at 16,310.09 by the lunch break.
The broader Topix index of all first-section shares dropped 17.90 points or 1.14% to 1,548.94.
Decliners beat gainers 1,302 to 313, with 105 issues unchanged.
Turnover rose to 904 million shares from 882 million Thursday morning.
“The stronger yen, as well as uncertainties in the financial sector, added to the impact of the decline on Wall Street overnight,” said Kazuhiro Takahashi, a manager of equities at Daiwa Securities SMBC.
“The Tokyo market’s downside, however, appears to be limited, with chances for a drop below 16,100 on the Nikkei diminishing significantly,” said Takahashi.
US crude oil futures hit a record high overnight, closing at 83.32 dollars a barrel.
Investors were cautious ahead of the long weekend, with Japanese financial markets closed for a public holiday on Monday.
They also have their eyes on the ruling Liberal Democratic Party’s election Sunday to select a successor to Shinzo Abe, who stepped down as prime minister last week after only a year in office.
Bank stocks led the decliners’ list, after Mitsubishi UFJ Financial Group, Japan’s largest banking group, said Thursday it would turn Mitsubishi UFJ Nicos Co into a wholly-owned unit to bail out the struggling credit card company.
Mitsubishi UFJ Financial Group lost 50,000 yen or 4.8% to 1.0 million yen while Sumitomo Mitsui Financial Group fell 22,00 yen or 2.8% to 779,000.
Toyota Motor lost 140 yen or 2.1% to 6,550. Honda Motor fell 150 yen or 3.9% to 3,720.
Sony edged down 100 yen or 1.8% to 5,340 and Matsushita Electric Industrial slipped 10 yen or 0.5% to 2,065.
Sharp and Pioneer both fell after the two consumer electronics companies said Thursday that they would form a strategic alliance, with Sharp becoming the top shareholder in struggling Pioneer.
Sharp fell 42 yen or 2.1% to 1,917, while Pioneer gave up 47 yen or 3.4% at 1,354.