Share prices in Tokyo fell 1.4 percent Thursday, November 15, as market sentiment remained depressed due to economic and political uncertainties at home and in the United States, brokers said.
The Tokyo Stock Exchange's key Nikkei-225 average lost 212.11 points to close at 14,587.03.
"Investors can't find incentives to buy amid worrisome factors," said Nikko Securities senior analyst Kazue Mayuzumi, citing the stalemate in the US presidential election and a domestic move to oust Prime Minister Yoshiro Mori.
Shares on Wall Street gave up early gains Wednesday after a warning on inflation from the Federal Open Market Committee was interpreted as signaling the current cycle of monetary tightening was not yet over.
"Disappointment is spreading in New York, preventing investors in Tokyo from going full out," Mayuzumi said. He also attributed the bearish sentiment to rises in crude oil prices and corporate failures.
The Topix index of all issues on the Tokyo market's first section fell 21.77 points to 1,380.28.
Turnover on the major board totaled an estimated 465 million shares against the previous day's 511.4 million shares.
Modest overnight gains on Wall Street failed to boost Tokyo trading as "players cannot find incentives to buy or sell," said Masaaki Higashida, deputy head of investment information at Nomura Securities Co.
Strong interim earning reports from many major Japanese firms were not pushing the market either, he added. "Dealers are taking a neutral stance for now and not taking positions."
"The market no longer reacts to any positive earnings announcement, which effectively illustrates the depth of investor cautiousness about the future trend of corporate earnings," World Nichiei Securities analyst Hideyuki Suzuki said.
He added that fears about a slowdown in industrial output and increases in inventory levels continue to unnerve sentiment with the view that a "slowdown in the United States will further impact an already shaky outlook for Japan."
Declining issues outnumbered gainers by 799 to 444 while 164 issues were unchanged.
Toyota Motor Corp., which announced a solid interim report the previous day, fell 180 yen, or 4.2 percent, to 4,110 yen.
Investors shifted attention to other high-growth stocks, including Nissan Motor Co. within the auto sector, brokers said. Nissan edged up two yen, or 0.3 percent, to 710 yen.
Mobile phone giant NTT DoCoMo Inc. fell 60,000 yen, or 2.0 percent, to 2.95 million yen as the impact of its strong earnings report on the previous day waned.
Among high-techs, Fujitsu Ltd. fell 41 yen, or 2.2 percent, to 1,819 yen and Sony Corp. lost 180 yen, or 2.1 percent, to 8,340 yen.
Banks lost ground on fresh fears about rising credit costs due to soaring bankruptcies.
Bank of Tokyo-Mitsubishi Ltd. fell 24 yen, or 2.0 percent, to 1,208 yen and Sumitomo Bank Ltd dropped 25 yen, or 1.9 percent, to 1,310 yen.— (AFP)
© Agence France Presse 2000
© 2000 Mena Report (www.menareport.com)