Tokyo shares end 0.35pc lower

May 12, 2014 - 9:49:58 am

TOKYO: Tokyo stocks lost 0.35 percent Monday after range-bound trading as investors waited for the release of fresh data slated for later in the week.

The headline Nikkei index at the Tokyo Stock Exchange lost 50.07 points to 14,149.52, while the Topix index of all first section shares dropped 0.65 percent, or 7.60 points, to 1,157.91.

The market zigzagged between positive and negative territory but stayed in a narrow band, ranging between 14,234.49 and 14,130.30.

"Japanese shares are likely go through directionless trade" as global investors express appetite for selective Japanese shares, despite rallies on Wall Street, SMBC Nikko Securities said in a note to clients.

The market was waiting for key Japanese and US data, including US retail sales and housing starts, due later in the week.

"This will be a week when investors will assess the US economic outlook after the impacts of the polar vortex has rounded off," while also keeping the Japanese economy in view after the consumption tax was raised in April, the brokerage said.

Geopolitical uncertainty over Ukraine continued to weigh on the market, analysts said.

The Tokyo market faced selling pressure due to a lack of fresh news, Daiwa Securities tweeted when the bourse closed.

Several major firms announced another round of strong annual profits for the year to March, after the market closed.

Automaker Nissan said its full-year net profit jumped 14.0 percent, boosted by a weaker yen, cost-cutting efforts and brisk sales.

For similar reasons, engineering conglomerate Hitachi said its net profit soared 51.1 percent.

Struggling electronics maker Sharp also said it had swung back to profit after two years of huge losses.

Adding to the upside in Tokyo was the momentum from New York last week where the Dow Jones Industrial Average closed at a fresh record high, with investors shrugging off mixed earnings reports and uncertainty over the Russia-Ukraine crisis.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average advanced 32.37 points (0.20 percent) to 16,583.34, 2.5 points above the previous high on April 30.

The broad-based S&P 500 added 2.85 (0.15 percent) at 1,878.48, while the tech-rich Nasdaq Composite Index outperformed, gaining 20.37 (0.50 percent) at 4,071.88.

Among major Tokyo shares, Nissan lost earlier gains and ended 0.23 percent lower at 869 yen, as did Hitachi, which fell 0.68 percent to 731 yen.

Mitsubishi UFJ Financial Group edged up 0.36 percent to 563 yen. Canon rose 0.71 percent to 3,275 yen.

Sharp was unchanged at 259 yen. (AFP)