Shares prices in Tokyo edged down Wednesday morning as investors remained cautious about further declines in US stocks, dealers said.
The Tokyo Stock Exchange's Nikkei-225 index dropped 153.24 points, or 1.0 percent, to close Wednesday morning at 14,994.95.
"The Dow went up overnight, but Nasdaq went down. Taking their cue from that, semi-conductor related shares are down in Tokyo," said Masaru Kazama, head of equities at Nissan Securities Co.
Blue chips made a strong showing in Wall Street Tuesday while technology stocks receded in the face of lower than expected quarterly earnings.
The Dow Jones Industrial Average rose 121.35 points, or 1.2 percent, to reach 10,393.07 Tuesday. But the Nasdaq composite index lost 48.90 point, or 1.4 percent, to end the day at 3,419.79.
The technology sector was depressed by concerns over the weakness of the semiconductor industry, as National Semiconductor announced that its earnings for the next two quarters would not meet investors' expectations.
"Japanese firms have been reporting strong earnings but their stocks are dragged down by deflated sentiment in the United States," said Masakazu Kimura, head of the equity section at Tsubasa Securities Co.
"So the Tokyo market will likely remain top heavy as long as US stocks remain weak," he said.
Also acting as a drag on the Nikkei index Wednesday morning were fibre-optic makers as investors took profits, Kazama of Nissan Securities said.
Among them, electronic wire maker Furukawa Electric Co. went down by 500 yen or 14.1 percent to 3,050.
"Furukawa became the target of profit-taking," Kazama said.
Shares of Sanyo Electric Co. Ltd. also went down Wednesday after Sanyo's president Sadao Kondo resigned Tuesday to take responsibility for the sale of faulty solar cell systems by one of its subsidiaries.
Sanyo shares went down 100 yen or 10.1 percent to 891 yen.
But Kimura of Tsubasa Securities added the Nikkei is likely hover around the 15,000 yen level as some bargain hunting is expected if Nikkei slips further.— (AFP)
© Agence France Presse 2000
© 2000 Mena Report (www.menareport.com)