TOKYO — Japanese shares fell after three straight sessions of gains on Wednesday, on increasing concerns about the impact of sanctions by Western nations against Russia for invading Ukraine.
By 0121 GMT, the Nikkei share average fell 1.2% to 26,508.53, while the broader Topix was down 1.34% to 1,871.67.
“Geopolitical risks remain as the main factor to move markets. After sanctions were imposed in Russia, investors fled from equities to buy debt,” said Shuji Hosoi, senior strategist at Daiwa Securities.
Russian equity markets remained suspended and some bond trading platforms were no longer showing prices, but dealing in the world’s major financial centers was orderly, albeit jittery. The main stock indices in Germany, France, Italy and Spain closed down more than 3%, while The pan-European STOXX 600 index fell 2.4%.
In Tokyo, technology heavyweights dragged the Nikkei the most, with robot maker Fanuc falling 3.97%, chip-making equipment maker Tokyo Electron slipping 1.65% and air conditioner maker Daikin Industries losing 2.8%.
Insurers were one of the worst performers among the Tokyo Stock Exchange’s 33 industry subindexes, falling 3.45% as US Treasury yields dropped to eight-week lows overnight.
Yields on Japan’s 10-year bonds also fell to its lowest since Jan. 26.
T&D Holdings slid 6.0% and Dai-ichi Life Holdings lost 4.41%.
Oil explorers led gains among the exchange’s 33 industry subindexes, jumping 6.76% after Oil shot back above $100 a barrel Inpex rose 5.89%.
Orix inched up 0.33% after Nikkei Inc, the publisher of the stock average, said it will add the financial services firm to the benchmark from next month, replacing Shinsei Bank. Shinsei Bank fell 3.1%.
There were 38 advancers on the Nikkei index against 186 decliners.
(Reporting by Junko Fujita; editing by Uttaresh.V)