TOKYO — Japan’s Nikkei share average hit its lowest levels in nearly three months on Thursday, dragged by Wall Street’s weak performance, with heavy technology stocks leading the declines.
The Nikkei index closed 0.93% lower but touched 25,953.92 at one point, its lowest since Oct. 3. The broader Topix fell 0.72% t 1,895.27.
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Wall Street’s main indexes ended weaker overnight, with the Nasdaq hitting a 2022 closing low, as investors grappled with mixed economic data, rising COVID cases in China, and geopolitical tensions heading into 2023.
“With the absence of investors at home and abroad, there was little support for the Japanese market that tracked U.S. equities’ weakness,” said Shigetoshi Kamada, general manager at the research department at Tachibana Securities.
“Since the Bank of Japan (BOJ) tweaked its ultra-low rate policy, the trend of Japanese shares changed. Until then, the market was supported by the central bank’s loose monetary policy.”
Technology heavyweights dragged the Nikkei lower, with startup investor SoftBank Group down 1.6%, paring some losses after falling as much as 2.4% to its lowest since Oct. 19.
The largest percentage losses in the index were Japan Tobacco Inc down 5.87%, followed by Showa Denko KK losing 4.68% and Isetan Mitsukoshi Holdings Ltd down by 4.37%.
There were 34 advancers on the Nikkei index against 182 decliners.
The volume of shares traded on the Tokyo Stock Exchange’s main board was 1.05 billion, compared to the average of 1.19 billion in the past 30 days.
All but two of the 33 industry sub-indexes fell, with oil explorers leading the declines. (Reporting by Junko Fujita; Editing by Janane Venkatraman)