TOKYO: Japan’s Nikkei share average fell on Wednesday amid heavy selling of big tech names including Nintendo and SoftBank Group following disappointing financial results, erasing any feel-good factor from a Wall Street rally overnight.
Startup investor SoftBank Group tumbled 5.1% after slumping to a quarterly loss, while video-game maker Nintendo plunged 7.5% after trimming its profit forecast.
Electronics maker Sharp Corp plummeted 12.6% to be far and away the Nikkei’s biggest decliner, following its own earnings miss. The Nikkei lost 0.3% to close at 27,606.46, after starting the day with a small advance following strong gains for all of the big three US stock indexes.
However, the benchmark was well off the session low at 27,458.53.
The combined 80 index-point drop for SoftBank and Nintendo actually exceeded the Nikkei’s total 79-point retreat.
Uniqlo store operator Fast Retailing shaved another 36 points from the index with its 1.3% decline, falling from the seven-week high touched in the previous session following a steep three-week rally.
Meanwhile, the broader Topix ended flat at 1,983.97, after rising to 1,991.49 early on for the first time since Dec. 1 and then slipping into the red.
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“The topside had gotten heavy” for the Nikkei after it pulled well above 27,500 at the start of the week for the first time in about two weeks, Nomura strategist Maki Sawada said on a call with reporters.
“At the same time, the bottom is firm, so it’s hard to think that there would be a big decline from here.”
Winners and losers were evenly split on the Nikkei, with 106 of its 225 components rising versus 114 that fell, while five closed flat.
Financial results also produced some big gainers. Electrical equipment manufacturer GS Yuasa was the Nikkei’s best performer, up 7.2%, followed by drugmaker Kyowa Kirin, which rallied 6.5%.