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Japan Market falls on refueled trade war concerns
16-May-19   16:16 Hrs IST
Japan share market closed down on Thursday, 16 May 2019, as investors risk sentiments weighed down by rekindled concerns over an escalation of the U.S.-China trade conflict after U.S. President Donald Trump signed on Wednesday an executive order forbidding U.S. companies from using telecommunications equipment made by foreign companies deemed national security threats. At closing bell, the 225-issue Nikkei Stock Average declined 125.58 points, or 0.6%, at 21,062.98, while the broader Topix index of all First Section issues on the Tokyo Stock Exchange sank 6.60 points, or 0.43%, lower at 1,537.55..

Tokyo stocks opened lower after more conciliatory messages from Washington on trade. The U.S. President Donald Trump signed on Wednesday an executive order forbidding U.S. companies from using telecommunications equipment made by foreign companies deemed national security threats. The order apparently targets Chinese information technology giant Huawei Technologies Co. But stocks displayed some resilience around the midmorning as investors moved to hunt bargains. In the afternoon, the market struggled for direction.

Japanese automakers were mixed amid growing expectations for Trump to delay his auto tariff decision, with Toyota falling 1% to 6,502 yen but Nissan was up 0.16% at 787.1 yen. Media reports said Wednesday that Trump is considering putting off his decision on whether to slap fresh tariffs on cars and parts from the European Union and Japan by up to six months. The delay is expected to be announced Saturday, the current deadline for the decision.

China-related shares were lower, with electronic parts maker Rohm dropping 3.25% to 7,140 yen and chip-testing equipment maker Advantest down 6.30% at 2,881 yen.

Sony lost 1.90 yen to 5,369 yen. After the closing bell, the firm announced a 200-billion-yen share buyback.

Mega-bank group Mitsubishi UFJ sagged 3.6% because its net profit forecast for the year through March 2020 and no announcement of a share buyback plan disappointed investors

CURRENCY NEWS: The Japanese yen was little changed against the dollar on Thursday. The dollar slipped to 109.49 yen in Asian afternoon trade from 109.58 yen in New York Wednesday afternoon.

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