Tokyo: Stocks close lower on profit-taking

[TOKYO] Tokyo stocks gave up early gains and closed lower Tuesday on profit-taking after a three-day winning streak.

The benchmark Nikkei 225 index fell 1.30 per cent or 392.62 points to 29,696.63, while the broader Topix index was down 1.47 per cent or 29.20 points at 1,954.34.

The Nikkei index, which on Monday closed above the 30,000 mark for the first time in about two weeks, extended its gain in early trade after Wall Street shares rallied to another record finish.

"But profit-taking emerged as expected following recent gains," Shinichi Yamamoto, a broker at Okasan Securities in Tokyo, told AFP.

"Trading was thin, indicating that players were on the sidelines, waiting for fresh trading factors," he said.

"But sentiment is not so bad," he added, predicting that the Nikkei index would be range-bound around 30,000 points for now.

Shortly before the Tokyo market opened, the government said Japan's household spending for February fell 6.6 per cent from a year ago.

It was the third straight monthly decline, as the government imposed emergency measures to contain coronavirus infections in major economic hubs such as the greater Tokyo area.

Among major Tokyo shares, SoftBank Group lost 1.12 per cent to 9,881 yen after announcing plans to buy a 40 per cent stake in Norwegian robotics company AutoStore in a deal worth US$2.8 billion.

Renesas Electronics lost 2.59 per cent to 1,241 yen as news reports said the firm plans to shift some production to a factory in western Japan after a fire damaged its main plant.

Nissan slumped 3.60 yen to 570 yen and Toyota fell 1.12 per cent to 8,366 yen.

Sony dropped 2.02 per cent to 12,080 yen but Nintendo gained 0.58 per cent to 63,710 yen.

AFP

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