Japan's Nikkei ends FY 2021 lower on profit-taking, geopolitical woes-Xinhua

Japan's Nikkei ends FY 2021 lower on profit-taking, geopolitical woes

Source: Xinhua| 2022-03-31 17:48:01|Editor: huaxia

TOKYO, March 31 (Xinhua) -- Tokyo stocks closed lower on Thursday following a downbeat showing on Wall Street overnight, with investors opting to lock in gains made following the market's recent rally amid geopolitical uncertainties.

The 225-issue Nikkei Stock Average lost 205.82 points, or 0.73 percent, from Wednesday, to close the day at 27,821.43.

The broader Topix index of all First Section issues on the Tokyo Stock Exchange, meanwhile, dropped 21.20 points, or 1.08 percent, to finish at 1,946.40.

Dealers here said that selling for profits was pervasive throughout the final day of Japan's fiscal 2021 year, with investors offloading issues they had previously bought to secure the rights to year-end dividend payouts.

"Investors continued to sell stocks from yesterday, especially those they bought to secure dividend payouts," Shigetoshi Kamada, general manager at the research department at Tachibana Securities, was quoted as saying.

"But the outlook of the market is not bad, and the market recovered quite quickly from aggressive sell-offs, which was caused by uncertainties due to the Russia-Ukraine crisis," Kamada added.

Other strategists pointed to the market getting a boost early on following reports that the United States may release around 1 million barrels of oil per day from its reserves for up to 180 days in a bid to counter soaring energy prices.

"The news led to a drop in crude oil futures and somewhat eased worries over inflation," Kazuo Kamitani, a strategist in the Investment Content Department of Nomura Securities Co., was quoted as saying.

"But risks remain, with concerns over a shortage of natural gas in Europe, as well as what may happen if U.S. oil reserves dry up ahead of the next winter season," Kamitani said.

A rise in COVID-19 cases in Japan gave some investors cause for concern as while some other countries have started to roll out their fourth round of vaccinations, Japan is still in the midst of its third booster rollout.

By the close of play, insurance, securities house and bank-oriented issues comprised those that declined the most, and issues that declined outpaced those that rose by 1,729 to 396 on the First Section, while 51 ended the day unchanged.

Energy-linked issues lost ground as crude oil futures declined, with Japan Petroleum Exploration losing 1.8 percent, while exploration giant Inpex ended the day 1.4 percent lower.

Nikkei heavyweight SoftBank Group weighed on the broader market, slipping 1.3 percent, although Recruit Holdings was the biggest drag, slumping 3.8 percent by the close.

Despite announcing growth in global auto output in February, automakers here closed mixed, with Honda skidding down 0.6 percent, while Toyota finished 0.2 percent higher.

Transportation issues came under pressure owing to renewed concerns over the spread of COVID-19 and fears this could affect bookings and patronage during the Golden Week string of national holidays beginning at the end of April.

East Japan Railway fell 1.5 percent, while Japan Airlines dropped 0.9 percent. ANA Holdings, meanwhile, also closed the day 0.9 percent lower.

On the main section on Thursday, 1,340.43 million shares changed hands, dropping from Wednesday's volume of 1,404.42 million shares.

The turnover on the penultimate trading day of the week came to 3,243.81 billion yen (26.59 billion U.S. dollars).