Tuesday, 08 September 2015 10:11
TOKYO: Tokyo shares lost 0.76 percent Tuesday morning after opening higher following better-than-expected revised Japanese GDP figures and as investors awaited Chinese trade data.
The Nikkei-225 index at the Tokyo Stock Exchange lost 135.11 points to 17,725.36 by the lunch break.
The broader Topix index of all first section shares was also down 0.44 percent, or 6.32 points, to 1,439.33.
The losses came after Tokyo shares opened higher following fresh Japanese data that showed the world’s third largest economy did not shrink as much as initially thought in the second quarter.
The economy contracted 0.3 percent during the April-June period, less than its original estimate of a 0.4 percent fall.
But the still-disappointing figures fuelled speculation that the Bank of Japan will be forced to unleash more stimulus later this year to counter the downturn.
And many investors were keeping to the sidelines in morning trade, as they cautiously monitor China’s economy following months of market volatility amid fears of a slowdown in Asia’s biggest economy.
“While there are opportunities out there, there’s no rush to pick the bottom at this stage given prevailing uncertainties over the slowdown in the Chinese economy and the timing of the US interest-rate increase,” Tim Schroeders, a portfolio manager at Pengana Capital, told Bloomberg News.
“Investors probably want to sit tight and watch developments closely,” he added.
After Tokyo morning trade finished, fresh data showed China’s exports fell 6.1 percent from a year ago.
Adding to the China concerns, Beijing on Monday lowered the country’s GDP growth figure for last year by 10 basis points to 7.3 percent.
Further muddying the waters, the prospects for a US rate hike have remained largely uncertain, with some analysts saying the latest US jobs data released last week did not necessarily provide clues strong enough to change Fed policy.
In share trading, Pioneer soared 11.5 percent to 252 yen after the electronic equipment producer said it has begun collaboration with a German company to develop automated driving maps.
Toyota rose 1.07 percent to 7,165 yen, Nissan was up 3.16 percent to 1093.5 yen, while market heavyweight Fast Retailing, operator of the Uniqlo chain, fell 1.32 percent to 46,045 yen.
In forex markets, the dollar bought 119.28 yen, slipping from 119.34 yen in Tokyo Monday afternoon. US financial markets were closed Monday for a holiday.