Stocks Morning UPDATE1
(Japan Economic Newswire Via Acquire Media NewsEdge) TOKYO, Aug. 21 -- (Kyodo) _ (EDS: ADDING DETAILS, PRICES)
Tokyo stocks fell Wednesday morning, with the Nikkei index hitting a fresh two-month low on weaker Asian stocks and lingering jitters about an early tapering of the U.S. Federal Reserve's massive stimulus program.
The 225-issue Nikkei Stock Average fell 106.33 points, or 0.79 percent, from Tuesday to 13,290.05, the lowest intraday level since June 27. The broader Topix index of all First Section issues on the Tokyo Stock Exchange was down 9.91 points, or 0.88 percent, at 1,115.36.
Almost all 33 sectors declined, led by utilities, sea transporters and consumer finance firms. Airlines were the only gainer.
The Nikkei got off to a solid start, briefly adding more than 100 points on buybacks a day after the index tumbled more than 360 points, or 2.6 percent. But it later slipped into negative territory as many Asian stocks traded weaker amid concerns about the impact of a Fed stimulus tapering on emerging economies, brokers said.
Hong Kong's Hang Seng Index, the Shanghai Composite Index and South Korea's Kospi index among others lost ground in the morning.
"Amid jitters about a scaling back of U.S. quantitative easing, investors are increasingly becoming risk-averse globally, leading to falls in currencies and stocks in emerging countries," said Hiroichi Nishi, assistant general manager of equity research at SMBC Nikko Securities Inc.
He said various technical charts indicated stocks were in the "buy zone," but buying did not last as players stood on the sidelines before assessing the minutes of the Federal Reserve's July policy meeting due out later in the day.
Sentiment was also dented as the yen slightly climbed versus the U.S. dollar during the morning and the Dow Jones Industrial Average fell for the fifth straight session Tuesday in New York, posting its longest losing streak since late December last year, brokers said.
Utilities were the worst performer by sector, led by Tokyo Electric Power Company, which dived 56 yen, or 9.1 percent, to 558 yen. The company said Tuesday an estimated 300 tons of highly radioactive water has leaked from one of the water storage tanks at the crippled Fukushima Daiichi power plant.
Among export-linked issues, Mitsubishi Motors tumbled 67 yen, or 5.9 percent, to 1,072 yen and Toyota Motor dropped 120 yen, or 2.0 percent, to 6,040 yen.
Fanuc slipped 70 yen, or 0.5 percent, to 14,610 yen and Kyocera sagged 100 yen, or 1.1 percent, to 9,450 yen.
Bucking the negative trend, semiconductor maker Tokyo Electron rose 60 yen, or 1.5 percent, to 4,145 yen after the Nikkei business daily reported that the firm is expected to see a rise in orders for the July-September quarter.
Falling issues outnumbered rising ones 1,143 to 429 on the First Section, while 179 remained unchanged.
(c) 2013 Kyodo News International, Inc.
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