Japan's Nikkei Ends Below 38,000 Points for First Time Since February

April 17, 2024, 03.01 PM | Source: Reuters
Japan's Nikkei Ends Below 38,000 Points for First Time Since February

ILUSTRASI. Passersby walk in front of an electric screen displaying Japan's Nikkei share average outside a brokerage in Tokyo, Japan March 21, 2024.

STOCK MARKET - TOKYO. Japan's Nikkei share average dropped for a third straight day on Wednesday to end below 38,000 points for the first time in two months as tensions in the Middle East weighed on sentiment and investors took profit before the earnings season heats up.

The Nikkei finished down 1.3% at 37,961.80, its lowest closing level since Feb. 14, and was on track for its biggest weekly loss since December 2022.

The broader Topix declined 1.3% to 2663.15.

The benchmark index opened higher but failed to hold on to its gains as caution reigned, like it has through the week, due to the uncertainty over how the situation in the Middle East will unfold.

At the same time, investors appeared to be trading carefully as Japan's earning season kicks into gear, analysts said, with key companies such as chip-testing equipment maker Advantest due to report next week.

"We see some market weakness this season" as companies publish guidance for the new fiscal year, leading to some profit-taking ahead of earnings, said Kenji Abe, an analyst at Daiwa Securities.

Read Also: UK Inflation Slows by Less Than Expected to 3.2% in March

U.S. stocks were mixed overnight as Treasury yields continued to climb, giving the Nikkei little support.

Federal Reserve Chair Jerome Powell said on Tuesday that monetary policy needs to be restrictive for longer, further dashing hopes of significant interest rate cuts this year.

The Nikkei bled deep, with only 32 of its 225 constituents climbing, while chip-related companies led the declines.

Advantest slid 4.5%, while Lasertec slumped 7.9% and Tokyo Electron fell 1% to become the biggest laggards on the index.

Fanuc Corp, which makes factory automation machinery, fell 3.3%, while AI-focused startup investor SoftBank Group declined 1.3%.

The few gainers included Resonac Holdings, which jumped 12% after the chemical company raised its revenue forecast for 2024. 

Editor: Wahyu T.Rahmawati

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