Sat, 06 Mar 2021

TOKYO, Jan. 15 (Xinhua) -- Tokyo stocks closed lower Friday as investors opted to take profits following the Nikkei's five-day winning streak on concerns the market may be overheating.

The 225-issue Nikkei Stock Average lost 179.08 points, or 0.62 percent, from Thursday to close the day at 28,519.18.

The broader Topix index of all First Section issues on the Tokyo Stock Exchange, meanwhile, fell 16.67 points, or 0.89 percent, to finish at 1,856.61.

Tokyo stocks advanced from the opening bell as investors were heartened by President-elect Joe Biden's hefty economic stimulus plan to the tune of 1.9 trillion U.S. dollars aimed at bolstering the pandemic-hit economy and fighting COVID-19 in the world's worst-hit country, traders here said.

Stocks dipped into negative territory and losses were extended in afternoon trade, however, as investors switched from chasing the market higher to locking in gains made following the market's five-day winning streak and 30-year closing highs, local brokers added saying the market may be showing signs of overheating.

"Shares were sold on a view that the market has been overheated, with investors also adjusting their holdings ahead of the weekend," Shingo Ide, chief equity strategist at the NLI Research Institute, was quoted as saying.

"Some investors had factored in the U.S. stimulus plan. The fact that there was no positive surprise about the package also triggered some profit-taking," Ide also said.

In terms of the currency market dictating investors' moves, the U.S. dollar remained in the 103 yen range, capped by a U.S. Labor Department report showing the previous day that jobless claims had increased in the week prior.

The dollar was quoted at 103.69-71 yen at 5:00 p.m. compared with 103.74-84 yen in New York and 104.03-04 yen at 5 p.m. on Thursday in Tokyo.

The euro, meanwhile, fetched 1.2134-2136 dollars and 125.82-86 yen against 1.2150-2160 dollars and 126.11-21 yen in New York and 1.2142-2144 dollars and 126.32-36 yen in late Thursday afternoon trade in Tokyo.

As a result of the yen's firmness against its U.S. counterpart, some exporter issues reliant on a weaker yen to boost profits when repatriated and increase competitiveness in overseas markets, came under pressure.

Automakers, already struggling by a global semiconductor shortage, lost ground, with Honda Motor reversing 2.9 percent, while Toyota Motor lost 1.7 percent. Subaru dropped 2.1 percent, after halting domestic production owing to supply issues with semiconductors due to the pandemic.

Nikkei heavyweight Fast Retailing, operator of the Uniqlo chain of casual clothing stores, fell 2.9 percent, as investors secured gains a day after the firm reported a 23 percent increase in operating profit for the first quarter through November.

By the close of play, transportation equipment, textile and apparel, and electric and gas issues comprised those that declined the most.

On the main section on Friday, 1,249.26 million shares changed hands dropping from Thursday's volume of 1,413.74 million shares.

The turnover on the final trading day of the week came to 2,837.66 billion yen (27.36 billion U.S. dollars).

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