Tokyo shares closed down on Tuesday, as investors drove shares lower on renewed concerns regarding the skyrocketing oil price and its impact on Japan’s economic recovery.
The benchmark Nikkei 225 average was down 0.4 per cent at 10,815.57, its lowest level for six weeks, while the broader Topix index was down 0.4 per cent at 1,090.37. The Nikkei declined for the eighth consecutive day, its longest losing streak since December 2002.
Shares were broadly lower, after the price of crude oil surged to a record $50 a barrel overnight on the New York Mercantile Exchange. Investors fear that rising oil prices could pose a threat to Japan’s economic recovery.
Shares were also dampened by recent economic indicators that fell below expectations and concerns that the Tankan survey of business sentiment, to be released on Friday, could confirm that the pace of growth is slowing.
Shares of Japan’s leading airlines were broadly lower due to the rising cost of fuel. Japan Airlines, the country’s leading carrier, was off 3 per cent at Y296, while shares of All Nippon Airways were down 2.2 per cent at Y352.
Shares of technology stocks and blue-chips were largely lower. Although Sony edged up 0.5 per cent to Y3,750, shares of Canon lost 0.2 per cent to Y5,140 and Toshiba was down 1.2 per cent at Y398. Fujitsu lost 1.3 per cent to Y631.
Elsewhere, shares of Daikyo, the indebted condominium developer, were off 7.1 per cent to Y145, following reports that its main bank, UFJ, would seek support from the state-backed turnaround body on Tuesday. Investors fear that the Industrial Revitalisation Corporation of Japan could potentially wipe out much of Daikyo’s equity, as it did with Kanebo, the household goods conglomerate.
Shares of UFJ were up 1.1 per cent at Y462,000. MTFG, which has signed a merger agreement with UFJ, was up 2.2 per cent at Y920,000.
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