Japanese shares down 0.62% by lunch

Japanese shares down 0.62% by lunch


Tokyo: Japanese share prices fell 0.62% in morning trade on Friday, 7 September, failing to benefit from modest gains overnight on Wall Street as investors turned cautious ahead of key US jobs data, dealers said.

They said players opted to lock in gains from Thursday’s rally which followed three straight days of losses sparked by ongoing concerns about the fallout from the US housing slump.

The Tokyo Stock Exchange’s benchmark Nikkei-225 index of leading shares dropped 100.42 points to 16,156.58 by the lunch break.

The broader Topix index of all first-section shares lost 7.56 points or 0.48% to 1,560.96.

Declining shares narrowly outnumbered gainers 835 to 733, with 131 issues unchanged.

Volume was an estimated 729 million shares, down from 967 million shares Thursday morning.

“Shares with favorable earnings outlooks have attracted active bargain-hunting by long-term investors, especially when the Nikkei was below 16,000," said Katsuhiko Kiroshige, a market analyst at Traders & Co.

“This will continue to discourage players from selling actively in the near term, while there is not enough confidence to chase prices above 16,500," he said.

In the banking sector, Mitsubishi UFJ Financial Group dropped 10,000 yen or 1% to 1.07 million yen on a report that the major banking group will acquire all shares that it does not own in its credit card arm Mitsubishi UFJ Nicos Co through a stock swap.

Mitsubishi UFJ Nicos rallied 14 yen or 4.8% to 305. The card issuer said nothing has been decided.

Elsewhere in the sector, Mizuho Financial Group shed 19,000 yen or 2.7% to 683,000 while Sumitomo Mitsui Financial Group fell 12,000 yen or 1.4% to 860,000 amid lingering concern over the US mortgage sector.

Toyota Motor slipped 30 yen or 0.5% to 6,600 after Chrysler poached Jim Press, the first foreigner on the fast-growing Japanese automaker’s board of directors who spearheaded the company’s success in the US.