Tokyo shares end lower

TOKYO (AFP): Tokyo stocks gave up early gains and ended down Wednesday, with investors cautious about pushing share prices up too far, although many also began bargain-hunting.

The benchmark Nikkei 225 index lost 0.37 percent, or 100.91 points, to 27,501.86, while the broader Topix index lost 0.27 percent, or 5.35 points, to 1,987.74.

Japanese shares started in the positive region, as the dollar’s appreciation buoyed exporters and a US tech rally encouraged buying in early trade, analysts said.
But once the early gains subsided, the market came under pressure.

“Investors are getting wary of a rising sense of short-term overheating,” and speculations for continued US rate hikes weighed on the market, IwaiCosmo Securities said.

Daiwa Securities said “caution that US rate hikes will become prolonged” also fuelled selling.

The dollar bought 133.25 yen in Asian trade, against 133.07 yen in New York and 131.89 yen in Tokyo late Tuesday.

Sony Group gave up early gains and ended down 0.64 percent to 11,705. SoftBank Group fell 1.01 percent to 5,791 yen.

Tech-related shares were also mixed. Advantest, which makes tests for semiconductors, added 1.00 percent to 10,130 yen.

Tokyo Electron, which makes tools to build semiconductors, fell 0.47 percent to 46,570 yen. Industrial robot maker Fanuc lost 0.30 percent to 22,910.

Banks rose. Mitsubishi UFJ Financial Group advanced 0.87 percent to 981 yen and Mizuho Financial Group added 1.42 percent to 2,147 yen.