Tuesday, March 28

Nikkei pares big early losses as stocks swing by Ukraine headlines

Article content

TOKYO — Japan’s Nikkei share average was at the mercy of twists in the Ukraine standoff on Friday, paring big early losses after news that US Secretary of State Antony Blinken would meet Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov next week.

The Nikkei ended the morning session 0.51% lower at 27,094.16, after sinking as much as 1.62% earlier.

The broader Topix entered the midday break down 0.43% at 1,922.99, paring earlier losses as steep as 1.33%. Growth stocks suffered deeper declines, with an index of the shares down 0.62% versus a 0.25% retreat for value shares.


Article content

“We’re at a level where investors would want to buy the dip, but at the same time, the elevated geopolitical risk means it’s just as easy to see another step lower depending on the news flow,” said a market participant at a domestic securities firm.

Chipmakers sank, with Tokyo Electron’s 2.94% decline enough to make it the Nikkei’s biggest drag by index points. Peers Advantest and Renesas dropped 2.36% and 1.04%, respectively.

Factory robot maker Fanuc was the biggest percentage decliner, down 4.87%, followed by tech company Trend Micro’s 4.33% retreat after financial results disappointed investors.

Energy was the worst performing sector on the Nikkei, tumbling 1.94% amid a decline in oil prices. Financials shed 0.99% amid a retreat this week in global long-term yields as Ukraine worries weighed.


Article content

Defensive sectors including utilities and healthcare outperformed, rising 0.58% and 0.23% respectively.

The biggest gainer by index points was Uniqlo store operator Fast Retailing, which added 1.15%, helping lift consumer cyclicals by 0.64% to be the Nikkei’s best performing subsector.

For the week, the Nikkei is on course for a 2.17% slide – resuming declines after a two-week respite – as twists in the Ukraine saga weighed, even as the risks of accelerated monetary tightening in the US took a step down.

The Topix was on track for a 2.02% retreat, also a first drop in three weeks. (Reporting by Tokyo markets team; Editing by Shailesh Kuber)



Postmedia is committed to maintaining a lively but civil forum for discussion and encourage all readers to share their views on our articles. Comments may take up to an hour for moderation before appearing on the site. We ask you to keep your comments relevant and respectful. We have enabled email notifications—you will now receive an email if you receive a reply to your comment, there is an update to a comment thread you follow or if a user you follow comments. Visit our Community Guidelines for more information and details on how to adjust your email settings.