Tokyo shares end lower

TOKYO (AFP): Tokyo shares ended lower on Monday, weighed by concerns about the global banking sector as well as a stronger yen.

The benchmark Nikkei 225 index fell 1.42 percent, or 388.12 points, to 26,945.67, while the broader Topix index lost 1.54 percent, or 30.12 points, to 1,929.30.

The dollar stayed low at 131.79 yen, nearly unchanged from 131.80 yen in New York on Friday.

In early trade, the Nikkei briefly trended into positive territory on news that UBS agreed to take over its troubled rival Credit Suisse.

The deal “was the best alternative amid several horrible options; hence the market has avoided the dreaded worst-case gap-down scenario at the Monday open,” said Stephen Innes of SPI Asset Management.

Deep worries remain about a possible economic slowdown, IwaiCosmo Securities said in a note.

Meanwhile, the US Federal Reserve and other major central banks announced on Sunday a coordinated effort to improve their access to liquidity, hoping to calm worries rattling the global banking sector.

In Tokyo, many players took to the sidelines before a Japanese national holiday on Tuesday, IwaiCosmo added.

“Ahead of the holiday, many investors closed their positions for small- to medium-sized growth shares after gains of last week. As a result, the overall sentiment cooled,” the brokerage added.

Among major shares, Nintendo lost 2.16 percent to 5,033 yen. Industrial robot maker Fanuc was down 1.34 percent at 22,775 yen.

Uniqlo operator Fast Retailing fell 2.11 percent to 27,395 yen, while SoftBank Group lost 0.82 percent to 4,851 yen and Toyota dropped 1.06 percent to 1,767 yen.
Mitsubishi UFJ Financial Group gave up 1.84 percent to 825.4 yen.