Tokyo: Nikkei ends at more than 5-week low; chip, energy shares drag

JAPAN'S Nikkei index ended at a more than 5-week low on Monday (Jun 20), with chip-related and energy stocks leading the losses, while investors struggled to find market moving cues due to a US holiday.

The Nikkei share average fell 0.74 per cent to 25,771.22, its lowest closing level since May 12, after gaining as much as 0.7 per cent in early trade. The broader Topix slipped 0.92 per cent to end at 1,818.94.

"The indexes gained earlier in the session because investors sought to buy cheap stocks but the trading activities shrank as they struggled to find market moving cues," said Chihiro Ohta, assistant general manager at the investment research and investor services at SMBC Nikko Securities.

"The momentum didn't last long also due to a US market holiday."

Oil explorers tanked 9.13 per cent and led declines of the Tokyo Stock Exchange's 33 industry sub-indexes, after oil prices tumbled over the weekend.

Inpex lost 8.95 per cent.

Refiners fell 5.5 per cent, with Eneos Holdings Idemitsu Kosan losing 5.05 per cent and 7.05 per cent, respectively.

Technology and growth stocks dragged the market on concerns about rising interest rates overseas, a strategist at a Japanese brokerage said.

Chip-making equipment maker Tokyo Electron fell 5.2 per cent and Silicon wafer maker Shin-Etsu Chemical slipped 6.39 per cent.

Materials and heavy machinery makers Mitsubishi Heavy Industries tanked 9.18 per cent and Kawasaki Heavy Industries lost 7.66 per cent.

Auto and part makers rose after the yen tumbled against the dollar over the weekend.

Subaru rose 2.55 per cent. Toyota Motor and Honda Motor rose 1.28 per cent and 0.61 per cent, respectively.

Heavyweights SoftBank Group rose 3.03 per cent and Recruit Holdings gained 2.39 per cent.

There were 47 gainers on the Nikkei index, compared to 176 decliners.

The volume of shares traded on the Tokyo Stock Exchange's main board was 1.22 billion, compared to the average of 1.36 billion in the past 30 days. REUTERS

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