Tokyo stocks fall as tech stocks and Nissan slide

Posted By on November 20, 2018

20 November 2018 – Tokyo stocks dropped today as technology companies receded on weakness in their U.S. counterparts and Nissan Motor fell after its Chairman Carlos Ghosn was arrested the previous day over alleged financial misconduct.

The 225-issue Nikkei Stock Average ended down 238.04 points, or 1.09 percent, from last night at 21,583.12. The broader Topix index of all First Section issues on the Tokyo Stock Exchange finished 11.94 points, or 0.73 percent, lower at 1,625.67.

Decliners were led by miscellaneous product, oil and coal product, and mining issues.

The market came under pressure from the outset as the U.S. Nasdaq Composite Index fell following news reports that Apple Inc. has cut production of its latest iPhone models.

“In addition to Apple-related shares, companies highly dependent on the Chinese market also met selling as investors remained wary about rekindled U.S.-China trade tensions at the APEC meeting at the weekend,” said Shingo Ide, chief equity strategist at the NLI Research Institute, referring to U.S. Vice President Mike Pence and Chinese President Xi Jinping exchanging barbs at the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation forum.

Nissan Motor briefly lost over 6 percent to hit its lowest level since July 2016 of 940.00 yen as concerns grew about the future of its three-way alliance with Mitsubishi Motors and France’s Renault SA.

Nissan ended the day down 54.80 yen, or 5.5 percent, at 950.70 yen, while Mitsubishi Motors tumbled 50 yen, or 6.8 percent, to 680 yen.

“The details of the scandal have not been disclosed, but it would have a huge negative impact on a smaller and vulnerable carmaker Mitsubishi Motors if the alliance gets damaged,” said Mitsuo Shimizu, an equity strategist at Aizawa Securities Co.

A fall in Shanghai and Hong Kong stocks also dampened market sentiment, brokers said.

“Investors could not aggressively buy shares” in the absence of fresh leads, Ide added.

Semiconductor manufacturing equipment maker Screen Holdings fell 320 yen, or 5.7 percent, to 5,290 yen while industrial robot maker Yaskawa Electric dropped 155 yen, or 4.6 percent, to 3,230 yen.

On the First Section, declining issues outnumbered advancers 1,294 to 734, while 84 ended the day unchanged.

Trading volume on the main section rose to 1,430.70 million shares from Monday’s 1,286.46 million shares.