Tokyo stocks close down 1.98pc

February 03, 2014 - 9:07:32 am

TOKYO: Tokyo stocks fell 1.98 percent Monday following a tumble on Wall Street stoked by jitters over emerging markets and disappointing earnings reports from several US firms.

The benchmark Nikkei-225 index lost 295.40 points to 14,619.13, while the Topix index of all first-section shares slipped 1.99 percent, or 24.32 points, to 1,196.32.

Global markets have been in turmoil over worries about a capital flight from emerging markets as traders move into the dollar after the Federal Reserve further scaled back its stimulus programme.

In Tokyo, investors were booking profits as the weak yen helped boost earnings at many blue-chip Japanese firms with Toyota and electronics giant Sony due to report their financial results this week.

"Fundamentals aren't driving Japanese stocks lower -- it's the fault of the weak overall investing environment," said Chibagin Asset Management general manager Yoshihiro Okumura.

Hiroichi Nishi, general manager of equities at SMBC Nikko Securities, told Dow Jones Newswires that the Nikkei's recent tumble meant "technical 'buy' signals are increasing, and strong solid market support should be expected at the 14,500 level".

In Tokyo share trading, mobile carrier SoftBank was down 6.59 percent to 7,064 yen with the high-flying stock down about 20 percent over the past month amid questions over whether US regulators will approve Sprint's proposed merger with rival T-Mobile.

The Japanese firm acquired control of Sprint last year.

Japan Airlines fell 2.13 percent to 5,050 yen after it said Friday that its nine-month net profit dropped 12.2 percent owing to higher operating costs.

Domestic rival ANA Holdings slumped 2.29 percent to 213 yen after reporting that its nine-month net profit dived by more than a third to $325 million.

Sony, which will announce its financial results Thursday, fell 2.76 percent to 1,581 yen.

In forex trading, the dollar rose to 102.20 yen from 102.03 yen in New York Friday.

On Wall Street, the Dow Jones Industrial Average sank 0.94 percent, while the broad-based S&P 500 fell 0.65 percent following weak earnings from Chevron, toymaker Mattel and MasterCard. (AFP)