Tokyo stocks flat in thin holiday trade

 28 Dec 2016 - 9:55

Tokyo stocks flat in thin holiday trade
A pedestrian walks past an electronic board displaying stock prices on the Tokyo Stock Exchange in Tokyo on December 26, 2016. AFP / KAZUHIRO NOGI


Tokyo: Tokyo shares closed flat in thin holiday trading on Wednesday, with Toshiba nosediving more than 20 percent after the firm said it may book a massive one-time loss.

The Nikkei was virtually unchanged after the Nasdaq on Tuesday rose to a record finish and the Dow again ended within striking distance of 20,000 points but did not breach the landmark. 

"The environment isn't bad, but with some foreign investors away on vacation, there are few participants and the market lacks momentum to push prices beyond recent highs," Chihiro Ohta, a senior strategist at SMBC Nikko Securities, told Bloomberg News.

Tokyo's benchmark Nikkei 225 index edged down 0.01 percent or 1.34 points to finish at 19,401.72. The broader Topix index of all first-section issues was up 0.04 percent, or 0.58 points, to 1,536.80.

In currencies, the dollar stood at 117.57 yen, rising from 117.27 yen in Tokyo Tuesday.

Despite the relative calm, shares in Toshiba dropped more than 20 percent -- their second straight double-digit plunge -- after it announced a possible one-time loss of several billion dollars over its US nuclear business.

Toshiba's stock price plummeted 20.42 percent to 311.6 yen, the largest fall allowed for a single day.

On Tuesday, the troubled conglomerate revealed that costs linked to the acquisition last year by its US subsidiary of a nuclear service company will possibly come to "several billion US dollars, resulting in a negative impact on Toshiba's financial results".

The exact figure of the potential write-down is not yet determined.

Analysts said that uncertainty was fuelling investor anxiety.

"Concerns have yet to be cleared away as they said they didn't know the figure," Yukihiko Shimada, senior analyst at SMBC Nikko, told AFP.

In other trading, Toyota edged up 0.02 percent to 6,970 yen while Uniqlo-brand operator Fast Retailing dropped 0.80 percent to 43,270 yen.

Sony rose 0.42 percent to 3,338 yen and Panasonic gained 0.24 percent to 1,218 yen.