Tokyo stocks down on profit-taking

A pedestrian walks past an electronics stock indicator at the window of a securities company in Tokyo on October 1, 2018. Japanese shares powered to a new 27-year high on October 1 after the US and Canada clinched a long-awaited trade deal, but other Asian equity markets struggled in subdued holiday trading. / AFP PHOTO / Martin BUREAU

Tokyo stocks lost ground on Thursday on profit-taking after climbing to a 27-year high earlier this week, with a drop in Hong Kong also weighing on investor sentiment.

The benchmark Nikkei 225 fell 0.56 percent, or 135.34 points, to close at 23,975.62 while the broader Topix was down 0.09 percent, or 1.54 points, at 1,801.19.

Hikaru Sato, senior technical analyst at Daiwa Securities, said it was no surprise to see profit-taking emerge “after stocks rose quite fast.”

“A cool-down period is expected to continue for a while,” he told AFP, adding that a decline in Hong Kong shares also helped erase early gains.

The Nikkei index opened higher as investors welcomed a weak yen and a record close on Wall Street.

A trove of strong US economic data on Wednesday elevated the Dow to a second straight all-time high and lifted 10-year US Treasury yields to a seven-year peak.

The yen, which hovered around multi-month lows against the dollar Thursday morning, traded at 114.40 yen in afternoon trade against 114.46 yen in New York on Wednesday afternoon.

In individual trade, Toyota rose 0.58 percent to 7,005 yen and SoftBank gained 1.31 percent to 11,200 yen after they announced plans to create a joint venture to provide “new mobility services” including autonomous vehicles for services such as meal deliveries.

Honda, which yesterday announced a tie-up with General Motors to develop autonomous vehicles, gained 0.23 percent to 3,346 yen.

Nomura jumped 1.44 percent to 554 yen following a news report that it is considering Paris for its post-Brexit EU lending hub.

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