Tokyo shares falter on weak Asia markets, profit-taking

TOKYO (AFP) – Tokyo shares closed lower yesterday, with investors cautious on soft Asian markets and weak corporate earnings, and profit-taking ahead of a long weekend.

The benchmark Nikkei 225 index gave up 0.39 per cent or 88.21 points to 22,329.94, but made a weekly gain of 2.86 per cent, driven up by robust United States (US) shares.

The broader Topix index lost 0.20 per cent or 3.14 points to 1,546.74, but advanced 3.39 per cent over the week.

The Tokyo market took a lead from overnight gains on Wall Street and opened slightly above the previous day’s close before investors began squaring positions and locking in profits ahead of a three-day weekend in Japan.

Semiconductor-related shares suffered particular falls after some of them issued weak earnings for three months to June, with more troubles ahead. SUMCO, a major silicon wafers maker, plunged 8.97 per cent to JPY1,491, after issuing weak earnings on Thursday due mainly to business disruptions stemming from the coronavirus pandemic.

Advantest Corp, the world’s largest manufacturer of test equipment for semiconductors, lost 4.77 per cent to 5,190. Tokyo Electron, a major manufacturer of tools to produce semiconductors, gave up 2.19 per cent to JPY27,940 yen.

“The Nikkei started the day in positive territory, supported by gains on the three major US indices. But the market was later weighed down by some semiconductor shares as well as other firms that released weak corporate earnings,” SBI Securities said in a note to clients.

“Falls of the SSE Composite index of Shanghai and the Hong Kong Hang Seng Index also encouraged selling” in Tokyo, SBI added.

Many investors took a wait-and-see stance ahead of the release of US jobs data as well as the three-day weekend in Japan, said Okasan Online Securities in a note.

The Tokyo market will reopen on Tuesday after closing on Monday for a national holiday.