TOKYO, May 12 (Xinhua) -- Tokyo stocks ended lower Thursday with the benchmark Nikkei stock index dropping to a two-month low as inflation concerns in the U.S. and Wall Street's overnight retreat soured sentiment.
The 225-issue Nikkei Stock Average dropped 464.92 points, or 1.77 percent, from Wednesday to close the day at 25,748.72, marking its lowest closing level since March 15.
The broader Topix index, meanwhile, lost 21.97 points, or 1.19 percent, to finish at 1,829.18.
Local brokers said that stocks here tracked their U.S. peers lower overnight, with tech shares in particular taking a hit following the Nasdaq Composite's overnight slide, with broader issues also under pressure owing to the Dow Jones' losing streak being extended to a fifth day.
They added investor sentiment, specifically, remained downbeat following the release of U.S. inflation data on Wednesday showing that prices remained elevated, further raising the prospect of more aggressive monetary tightening by the U.S. Federal Reserve.
"It was hard to bet on Japanese stocks after the Nasdaq's fall overnight," Shigetoshi Kamada, general manager at the research department at Tachibana Securities, was quoted as saying.,
"As long as the Federal Reserve maintains its policy tightening, investors will remain cautious about investing in risk assets," Kamada added.
Other market strategists concurred, highlighting ongoing concerns about soaring inflation leading to a slowdown of the world's largest economy.
"The U.S. inflation data failed to ease worries over a slowdown of the country's economy," Maki Sawada, a strategist in Nomura Securities Co.'s investment content department, was quoted as saying.
Sawada added that although losses were trimmed slightly by investors seeking out bargains, U.S. stock futures pointing to further losses on Wall Street ahead and other Asian bourses trading lower, added to a risk-off mood.
By the close of play, information and communication, service, and farm and fishery issues comprised those that declined the most, with issues that fell outpacing those that rose on the Prime Market by 1,477 to 330, while 30 ended the day unchanged.
Among tech issues dragged down by their U.S. peers' overnight slump, Tokyo Electron lost 1.7 percent, while Advantest fell 3.6 percent. Industrial robotics maker Fanuc, for its part, ended the day 2.0 percent lower.
Nikkei heavyweight SoftBank Group, weighed on the market, dropping 3 percent. The global tech investor announced Thursday it booked a net loss of 1.71 trillion yen (13.25 billion U.S. dollars) in the business year ending in March.
The Tokyo-based international conglomerate said that the decline in its net profit in the recording period was owing to losses incurred by its global investments.
SoftBank Group, which along with the tech sector, also invests heavily in energy, and financial sectors and runs the world's largest technology-focused venture capital Vision Fund, also said it booked an investment loss of 3.43 trillion yen (26.62 billion U.S. dollars) in the business year.
Automakers closed mixed on individual earnings reports, with Toyota skidding down 1.4 percent as despite reporting a record operating profit among Japanese companies in the last fiscal year, also warned of headwinds associated with supply issues, COVID-19, geopolitical concerns and the yen's weakness.
Conversely, Subaru accelerated 5.9 percent, after the automaker said Thursday it expects its net profit for fiscal 2022 would be twice that compared to the previous year.
Olympus was another notable winner, soaring 11.2 percent, after announcing a record operating profit for fiscal 2021 and expectations for further advances in the current business year.
On the Prime Market on Thursday, 1,481.01 million shares changed hands, rising from Wednesday's volume of 1,368.54 million shares.
The turnover on the penultimate trading day of the week came to 3,268.39 billion yen (25.41 billion U.S. dollars). ■