Sunday, July 3

Japan’s Nikkei retreats from 6-week high as Astellas, Sony drag

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TOKYO — Japan’s Nikkei share average retreated from a six-week high on Thursday, with tech shares leading the slide — in line with losses on Wall Street overnight amid simmering worries about global inflation.

The Nikkei fell 0.17% to 27,411.58 as of the midday break, but was off the day’s lows at 27,251.24. The benchmark closed at 27,457.89 in the previous session, the highest since April 21.

Of the index’s 225 component stocks, 116 fell versus 102 that rose and seven that were flat.

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Tech had been the worst-performing sector most of the morning, but entered the break 1.08% lower, outpaced by a 1.48% drop for healthcare and a 1.56% tumble for energy. Utilities were the only gainers, up 1.25%.

The broader Topix sank 0.54% to 1,928.12. The growth index tumbled 0.81%, compared with a 0.3% decline for value shares.

The US S&P 500 dropped 0.75% overnight and the Nasdaq slid by a similar amount, with rate-sensitive tech shares hurt as the benchmark US long-term Treasury yields climbed to a two-week high of 2.95%.

“It’s difficult to actively buy stocks” amid the rise in US yields, said a market participant at a Japanese securities company.

“Rather than there being some specific news to trade on, selected value stocks are getting bought,” said a market participant at a different domestic securities firm.

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Market sentiment has remained fragile amid simmering economic uncertainty caused by aggressive Federal Reserve interest rate hikes and their potential to choke US growth, along with the inflationary pressures from the protracted Russia-Ukraine war and China’s draconian zero-COVID measures.

Astellas Pharma was the Nikkei’s worst performer, sliding 3.95%, followed by tech company Fujitsu’s 3.75% decline and a 2.99% drop for healthcare company M3.

Security software developer Trend Micro was next with a 2.94% retreat. Sony Group fell 2.79% and energy company Inpex lost 2.56%. (Reporting by Tokyo markets team; editing by Uttaresh.V)