Stocks closed marginally lower on the Tokyo Stock Exchange on Thursday, after erasing healthy early gains under the pressure of profit-taking.
The 225-issue Nikkei average lost 3.22 points, or 0.02 percent, to end at 21,287.02. On Wednesday, the key market gauge shed 213.45 points.
The Topix index of all first-section issues finished down 3.78 points, or 0.24 percent, at 1,588.29, after retreating 13.41 points the previous day.
The Tokyo market got off to a firmer start, with the Nikkei briefly gaining over 230 points, thanks chiefly to buybacks, market sources said.
But the market’s topside grew heavy in midmorning trading, hit by selling to lock in gains, according to the sources.
In afternoon trading, the Nikkei gradually cut gains and fluctuated around the previous day’s closing level toward the close.
The Topix showed directionless movements for most of the afternoon session.
Hiroaki Hiwada, strategist at Toyo Securities Co., suggested that profit-taking was prompted by “sluggish Chinese stocks.”
Chihiro Ota, general manager for investment research and investor services at SMBC Nikko Securities Inc., said selling apparently by nonresidents weighed on the market.
Investors “largely ignored” the rejection on Wednesday by the U.K. Parliament of U.K.’s no-deal exit from the European Union, as the vote result came as no surprise, Ota said.
Falling issues outnumbered rising ones 1,257 to 783 in the TSE’s first section, while 94 issues were unchanged.
Volume dropped to 1.132 billion shares from 1.225 billion shares on Wednesday.
Daiwa House Industry Co. fell 2.58 percent, with investor sentiment battered by suspected fund misappropriation at an affiliate in China.
Also on the minus side were mobile phone carrier KDDI Corp., electronic parts maker TDK Corp. and daily goods manufacturer Kao Corp.
By contrast, higher crude oil prices lifted oil companies JXTG Holdings Inc., Idemitsu Kosan Co., Showa Shell Sekiyu KK and Cosmo Energy Holdings Co.
Among other major winners were clothing store chain Fast Retailing Co., employment information service firm Recruit Holdings Co. and technology conglomerate Softbank Group Corp.
In index futures trading on the Osaka Exchange, the key June contract on the Nikkei average climbed 70 points to end at 21,120.