Tokyo stocks close sharply lower on US tariff rhetoric
May 7, 2019 | 5:54 PM
by Xinhua
The 225-issue Nikkei Stock Average dropped 335.01 points, or 1.51 per cent, from April 26 to close the day at 21,923.72. - Reuters file picture

Tokyo: Tokyo stocks closed sharply lower on Tuesday as Wall Street set a negative tone overnight, with investors concerned about the US ramping up rhetoric on trade and tariff issues.

The 225-issue Nikkei Stock Average dropped 335.01 points, or 1.51 per cent, from April 26 to close the day at 21,923.72.

The broader Topix index of all First Section issues on the Tokyo Stock Exchange, meanwhile, lost 18.09 points, or 1.12 per cent, to finish at 1,599.84.

Trading got off to a lacklustre start, local brokers said, as US shares slid overnight on renewed concerns following remarks from Washington about trade tariffs.

Brokers here said that were it not for the latest rhetoric, issues here would have gained traction on the first trading day following the 10-day string of Golden Week holidays and the new "Reiwa" era in Japan following the new emperor's ascension.

"It's a negative surprise. If not for trade jitters, the Nikkei would have risen amid a festive mood on the first trading day of the new era," senior technical analyst at Mizuho Securities, Yutaka Miura, was quoted as saying.

Losses were extended in afternoon trade, market analysts said, with Fanuc and Hitachi losing 3.2 per cent and 6.1 per cent respectively.

Semiconductor issues also came under heavy selling pressure on concerns for the outlook of the global economy, with Screen Holdings dropping 4.5 per cent and Sumco ending the day 4.0 per cent lower.

Bucking the downward trend, however, Sony jumped 3.8 per cent after reports said the firm expected to post a solid operating profit for this fiscal year through March.

By the close of play, mining, machinery, and glass and ceramics product-linked issues comprised those that declined the most, and issues that fell outpaced those that rose by 1,457 to 623 on the First Section, while 60 ended the day unchanged.

On the main section on Tuesday, 1,564.94 million shares changed hands, rising from 1,318.05 million shares on April 26.

Markets here were closed during the 10-day Golden Week holiday through Monday.

The turnover on the first trading day of the week came to 3,217.6 billion yen (29.09 billion US dollars).

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