Nikkei slumps on month-end selling, fears over retail volatility

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Nikkei slumps on month-end selling, fears over retail volatility


TOKYO: Japanese shares tumbled for a second day on Friday, giving up early gains, as a boost from technology companies reporting upbeat earnings was overshadowed by investors’ profit-taking and rebalancing at the end of month.

Investors grew nervous about further market turbulences as retail trading frenzy boosts market volatility and talk of more position unwinding by damaged players.

Japan’s Nikkei share average fell 1.89 per cent to 27,663.39, marking its biggest fall since July 31 and slipping below its 25-day moving average price. The broader Topix dropped 1.64 per cent to 1,808.78.

The losses accelerated after Citron Research, a short-selling hedge fund caught in the short-squeezing of Gamestop shares, said it will make a major announcement later in the day.

Recent gainers such as Canon fell 7.4 per cent even as the maker of camera and printer announced a solid earnings growth in the last quarter as expected.

Chip-related firms that announced robust earnings also fell.

Advantest fell 1.9 per cent, erasing earlier gains of 5.1 per cent after the company raised its profit forecast for the year ending in March, citing strong demand for its chip-testing machines.

Tokyo Electron slipped 4.9 per cent, reversing gains of 2.4 per cent after the chip manufacturing machine maker hiked its annual guidance.

“It appears pension funds are reducing their positions as they change their allocation at the end of month,” said a trader at a Japanese brokerage.

However, some companies managed to maintain their share gains after reporting strong results. Among tech stocks, Fujitsu gained 1.5 per cent and Shinko Electric rose 7.2 per cent.

Nomura Real Estate rose 6.7 per cent and Oriental Land gained 1.3 per cent following results which showed a stronger-than-expected recovery of the Tokyo Disney Resort.

JCR Pharma extended gains to a third day, rising 10.8 per cent, as its upbeat earnings on Thursday added to the bullish mood spurred by the news that

will license the firm to produce some 90 million doses of its Covid-19 vaccine.





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