Tokyo's Nikkei ends down, slips below 20,000 mark

 06 Jun 2017 - 10:13

Tokyo's Nikkei ends down, slips below 20,000 mark

AFP

Tokyo: Tokyo's benchmark index dropped Tuesday, sinking below the key 20,000 level points as energy firms were hit by lower oil prices and a stronger yen put the brakes on automakers.

The Nikkei 225 has fallen for two days in a row after chalking up on Friday its best finish in nearly two years.

"It's no surprise to see today's drop given the growing uncertainty ahead of several major events this week," Hikaru Sato, a senior technical analyst at Daiwa Securities, told AFP.

Investors were cautious ahead of the British general election on Thursday, after deadly terror attacks in London.

A European Central Bank meeting and testimony by ex-FBI director James Comey, whom President Donald Trump fired last month amid a probe of his campaign's ties to Russia, are also in focus. 

"There is a strong sense of wanting to wait-and-see among investors ahead of former FBI director Comey's testimony and the UK elections," said Yutaka Miura, a senior technical analyst at Mizuho Securities.

"With both US shares and Japanese shares trading near fresh highs, there's no need to jump on the bandwagon now, ahead of key events," he told Bloomberg News.

The Nikkei dropped 0.95 percent, or 190.92 points, to close at 19,979.90, while the Topix index of all first-section shares fell 0.84 percent, or 13.53 points, to end at 1,596.44.

The dollar dipped to 109.70 yen from 110.48 yen in New York.

The stronger yen dented some exporting firms with automaker Toyota falling 0.97 percent to 5,910 yen and rival Nissan slipping 1.11 percent to 1,068 yen.

Petroleum-linked shares also dropped with crude prices.

Inpex fell 1.41 percent to 1,013.5 yen, Japan Petroleum Exploration was down 1.89 percent at 2,174 yen and refiner Idemitsu tumbled 2.76 percent to 3,170 yen.

Kansai Electric Power ended the day 1.79 percent lower at 1,610 yen. The utility switched on another nuclear reactor Tuesday afternoon, despite strong public opposition after the 2011 Fukushima meltdown.