Markets

Tokyo stocks open lower with eyes on yields

  • It will take about a month for Renesas to resume operation, the leading business daily Nikkei reported, citing chief executive Hidetoshi Shibata.
Published March 22, 2021

TOKYO: Tokyo stocks opened lower on Monday, tracking falls on key US indexes as investors weighed risks linked to yields and awaited comments from US central bank officials this week. The benchmark Nikkei 225 index fell 1.31 percent or 389.41 points to 29,402.64 in early trade, while the broader Topix index was down 0.98 percent or 19.80 points at 1,992.41.

"Japanese shares are seen starting with falls as investors were disheartened by weak US markets," senior strategist Yoshihiro Ito of Okasan Online Securities said in a note.

The Dow and S&P fell on Wall Street while the tech-rich Nasdaq ended up, after investors were rattled by Fed comments that a temporary rule allowing banks to exclude central bank deposits and Treasury bonds from capital requirements will expire at the end of the month.

That raised fears that banks will dump their bond holdings, which would cause yields to rise further and constrain borrowing.

Global markets have been facing pressure from rising yields to the 10-year US Treasury bond.

"This week will see several occasions when US Federal Reserve officials will speak publicly," Daiwa Securities said in a commentary.

"Depending on their comments, yields could rise further," the Japanese brokerage said.

The dollar fetched 108.88 yen in early Asian trade, against 108.87 yen in New York late Friday.

In Tokyo, automakers were lower after chip maker Renesas Electronics told local media a fire at its major domestic plant would impact stable chip supply to customer companies.

Chip supplies are already under pressure globally, with growing demand causing difficulty especially for carmakers.

Honda was down 3.00 percent at 3,367 yen, Toyota was off 1.98 percent at 8,473 yen and Nissan was down 2.61 percent at 607.8 yen.

Renesas was down 4.15 percent at 1,177 yen after its president reportedly said in a press conference Sunday a fire in one of its nine factories in Japan will likely "have a significant impact" on chip supplies.

It will take about a month for Renesas to resume operation, the leading business daily Nikkei reported, citing chief executive Hidetoshi Shibata.

Elsewhere, Panasonic was down 1.72 percent at 1,402 yen, Canon was off 1.08 percent at 2,378.5 yen, and Sharp was down 1,11 percent at 1,877 yen.

On Wall Street, the Dow ended down 0.7 percent at 32,627.97.

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