[TOKYO] Japan's Topix index fell on the first day of the financial year, after posting its best quarterly advance in two years, as pharmaceutical shares led declines.
The Topix lost 0.4 per cent to 1,537.69 as of 9.02 am in Tokyo, after rising 9.6 per cent in the three months through March, the most since the same period in 2013. The gain sent valuations on the Topix to 16.8 times estimated earnings yesterday, up from 15.3 at the start of the year.
The Nikkei 225 Stock Average slid 0.1 per cent to 19,181.84 on Wednesday. Japan's Tankan survey of sentiment at large manufacturers missed estimates, while investors waited for Friday's US jobs data.
"The view that Japanese stocks are relatively cheap seems to be retreating," said Hiroichi Nishi, an equities manager at SMBC Nikko Securities Inc. in Tokyo. Investors are awaiting the "big events later this week, such as U.S. payrolls." Japan's quarterly Tankan index for large manufacturers stood at 12 at the end of March, the same as in December, the Bank of Japan said today. Economists surveyed by Bloomberg had expected an increase to 14. A positive number means optimists outnumber pessimists.