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Japanese shares lost 0.40 percent Thursday morning, weighed down by falls in US stocks after disappointing earnings reports as well as caution ahead of talks by the Group of 20 economic powers.
The Nikkei 225 index at the Tokyo Stock Exchange fell 53.53 points to 13,329.36 by the break while the Topix index of all first-section issues fell 0.13 percent, or 1.48 points, to 1,134.53.
"The entire market was technically overbought coming into this week, and essentially looking for decent sell catalysts in order to consolidate," said Tachibana Securities market analyst Kenichi Hirano.
"But strong housing starts data out earlier this week should alleviate fears of a US economic pullback, while signs do not point to Japan taking much flak over its super-easy (monetary) policy stance heading into the G20 summit this weekend. Shares will be ready to resume rising starting next week," he added.
US stocks closed sharply lower after disappointing earnings reports and a 5.5 percent plunge in Apple shares, along with dreary economic sentiment in Europe.
The Dow Jones Industrial Average dropped 138.19 (0.94 percent) to 14,618.59.
In Tokyo, Toyota Motor was off 1.26 percent at 5,480 yen, while several Apple component suppliers were underperforming on fears of slower iPhone sales, with Murata Mfg down 2.20 percent at 7,970.
All Nippon Airways was up 4.06 percent at 205 yen and Japan Airlines was up 0.23 percent at 4,230 yen by the break, after a report that US and Japanese aviation regulators will soon give the green light to the grounded Boeing 787 Dreamliner.
GS Yuasa, the battery supplier for the 787 passenger jet, surged 7.57 percent to 412 yen by the break.
-- Dow Jones Newswires contributed to this story. --