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Markets

Tokyo stocks open lower extending US falls

  • Arm produces microprocessors used in many smartphones.
Published April 20, 2021
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TOKYO: Tokyo stocks opened lower on Tuesday, weighed down by falls on Wall Street and a high yen against the dollar as well as concerns about rising virus cases in Japan.

The benchmark Nikkei 225 index was down 1.39 percent or 412.82 points at 29,272.55 in early trade, while the broader Topix index slipped 1.21 percent or 23.67 points to 1,932.89.

Both indices were still falling over an hour into the trading day.

"Japanese shares are seen starting with falls as investors were disheartened by falls in US shares and a high yen" against the dollar, Toshiyuki Kanayama, senior analyst at Monex, said in a note.

Rising virus cases which have prompted calls for new states of emergency in the Osaka region and possibly Tokyo were also weighing on investors.

"Along with increased new coronavirus infections, the possibility of a state of emergency declaration is growing, which is turning on an amber light for economic recovery," Okasan Online Securities said in a commentary.

The new measures could involve tougher restrictions including asking shops and restaurants to close, local media has reported. Analysts said bargain-hunting purchases could still emerge later and support the market ahead of corporate earnings season in Japan.

The dollar fetched 108.04 yen in early Asian trade, against 108.15 yen in New York and 108.50 yen in Tokyo late Monday.

In Tokyo, Toyota was down 0.88 percent at 8,447 yen after a report the Japanese carmaker sees "cloudier" chip supply later this year.

"April and May are fine. It gets a little cloudier when we move into June, July -- into the summer months," Bob Carter, Toyota's top sales executive in the US, said in a Bloomberg TV interview from the Shanghai auto show.

SoftBank Group was down 1.64 percent at 9,840 yen after the UK government reportedly said it will look into the national security implications of US graphic chips maker Nvidia's purchase of British chip designer ARM Holdings, which was acquired by SoftBank Group in 2016.

SoftBank Group said last year it is selling Arm to Nvidia for up to $40 billion.

Arm produces microprocessors used in many smartphones.

Among other shares, Sony was down 1.25 percent at 11,840 yen and Hitachi dropped 2.37 percent to 5,069 yen.

On Wall Street, the Dow ended down 0.4 percent at 34,077.63.

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