Tokyo’s benchmark Nikkei index closed marginally lower on Monday, playing catch-up after a four-day weekend, with global risk aversion on intensifying US-China tensions.
The Nikkei 225 index fell 0.16 percent, or 35.76 points, to 22,715.85 but the broader Topix index gained 0.24 percent, or 3.73 points, to 1,576.69.
Tokyo stocks opened sharply lower after Wall Street stocks fell for a second session in a row Friday on rising US-China tensions and worries.
“There are concerns that the US-China conflict could intensify further via a chain of retaliatory measures,” Yoshihiro Ito, chief strategist at Okasan Online Securities, said in a note, adding resurging coronavirus cases in some US states also weighed on sentiment.
Investors bought on dips in afternoon trade, erasing some of the early losses, “but the US-China dispute weighed on the market throughout the day”, said Toshikazu Horiuchi, a broker at IwaiCosmo Securities.
A strong yen — a negative for Japanese exporters — also discouraged investors from actively buying back shares, brokers said.
The dollar was trading at 105.63 yen in Asian afternoon trade, compared with 105.95 yen in New York Friday afternoon and well lower than the upper half of the 106-yen range before Tokyo shut for the long weekend.
In Tokyo trade, high-tech stocks lost ground after Intel plunged on Wall Street on the announcement that its next-generation chips would be delayed by manufacturing problems.
Microchip-testing equipment maker Tokyo Electron plunged 2.66 percent to 28,870 yen with Advantest down 1.33 percent at 6,650 yen.
Sony fell 0.77 percent to 8,196 yen but Toyota edged up 0.11 percent to 6,737 yen.
ANA Holdings gained 0.35 percent to 2,373 yen despite the Nikkei business daily reporting the airline group was on course to report a record operating loss for the last quarter.