TOKYO: Japanese shares fell on Friday, weighed down by tech stocks and caution ahead of U.S. inflation data, but posted their first weekly gain in three on easing worries over the Omicron coronavirus variant’s impact on the pace of economic recovery.

The Nikkei share average ended 1% lower at 28,437.77, but posted a 1.46% gain in its first weekly gain in three weeks.

The broader Topix lost 0.77% to 1,975.48 and rose 0.9% for the week.

“Technology and growth shares were affected by the Nasdaq’s weak finish overnight,” said Masahiro Ichikawa, chief market strategist at Sumitomo Mitsui DS Asset Management.

Wall Street ended lower overnight, as investors booked some profits after three straight days of gains, with the tech-heavy Nasdaq falling more sharply than the S&P 500, while the Dow was virtually flat.

“It is hard for investors to make bets ahead of the U.S. CPI (Consumer Price Index) data this evening and the FOMC (Federal Open Market Committee) meeting next week,” Ichikawa said.

A higher-than-expected CPI reading would strengthen the case for a policy tightening decision at the U.S. central bank’s meeting next week.

Chip-related shares fell, with Advantest and Tokyo Electron losing 1.75% and 1.26%, respectively. Medical equipment maker Terumo slipped 2.28% and game maker Bandai Namco Holdings lost 2.93%.

Staffing agency Recruit Holdings dragged Nikkei down the most, falling 5.45% and was the biggest loser on the index.

Hitachi gained 2.17% amid a report that the conglomerate is considering selling its stake in Hitachi Transport System. Hitachi Transport surged 7.69%.

There were 52 advancers on the Nikkei index against 168 decliners. The Mothers Index of start-up firm shares lost 2.27%.


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