Tokyo stocks close lower

Madiha Shakeel December 11, 2018

TOKYO: Tokyo shares closed lower on Tuesday as uncertainty caused by factors including Brexit and trade tensions weighed on the market, wiping out early gains.

The benchmark Nikkei 225 index fell 0.34 percent or 71.48 points to 21,148.02 while the broader Topix index was down 0.91 percent or 14.50 points at 1,575.31.

Tokyo shares opened higher, rebounding from sharp drops the previous day, with investors apparently relieved that Wall Street eked out gains after a volatile session.

“But sentiment worsened as investors remained cautious amid uncertain elements such as the postponement of Britain’s Brexit vote and the US-China trade war,” Daiwa Securities senior technical analyst Hikaru Sato told AFP.

European stock markets and the pound slid Monday after British Prime Minister Theresa May said she was delaying a parliamentary vote on her deal to leave the EU after conceding it would not win sufficient support.

“The market is concerned that the postponement uses up valuable time before the 29th March exit date, and the risk of a no-deal scenario is growing,” David de Garis, director of economics and markets at National Australia Bank said in a commentary.

The dollar slipped to 113.10 yen in late Asian trade from 113.35 yen in New York Monday afternoon.

In individual stocks trade, SoftBank Group jumped 2.44 percent to 8,827 yen after announcing Monday it aims to raise over $23 billion by listing its Japanese mobile unit next week.

Nissan kept falling, down 3.10 percent at 915.7 yen after tumbling 2.90 percent on Monday as ousted chairman Carlos Ghosn was charged and faced new allegations of alleged financial misconduct.

Prosecutors also charged Nissan for filing documents that allegedly understated Ghosn’s earnings.

The Nikkei daily reported Tuesday that Nissan plans to book years of under-reported compensation paid to Ghosn as expenses in the year to March 2019 all at once, a move that could worsen the automaker’s balance sheet.

Toyota lost 1.09 percent to 6,745 yen but Sony rose 0.72 percent to 5,735 yen.

Copyright AFP (Agence France-Press), 2018

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