TOKYO — Japan’s Nikkei index reversed course to hit a 14-month low on Thursday, dragged down by technology heavyweights, as investors were concerned about the outlook on Wall Street after the U.S. Federal Reserve signaled an early rate hike.
The Nikkei share average lost 2.4% to 26,366.17 by 0208 GMT, after hitting its lowest level since Nov. 26, 2020 earlier in the session.
The broader Topix down 1.91% to 1,855.78.
Both the indexes opened higher.
“U.S. market was not solid yesterday. That made investors cautious and they bet Wall Street might fall later today,” said Seiichi Suzuki, chief equity market analyst at Tokai Tokyo Research Institute.
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“The Japanese market rose earlier only because investors tried to buy at cheap.”
Overnight, all three major U.S. stock indexes gyrated wildly in the final minutes of a session that ended with the Dow joining the S&P in negative territory and the Nasdaq eking out a nominal gain.
In Japan, electric motor maker Nidec fell 4.63%, giving up early gains, after its third-quarter operating profit dipped as rising material prices and a shortage of semiconductors squeezed margins.
Technology start-up investor SoftBank Group tanked 7.02%, chip-related Advantest lost 6.23% and game maker Sony Group fell 5.82%.
Bucking the trend, Fanuc rose 2.48% and was the top gainer on the Nikkei after the robot maker raised its annual operating profit forecast.
Trading firm Marubeni gained 3.12% after announcing the sale of the grains business of its U.S. unit Gavilon to commodities trader Glencore Plc’s Viterra arm.
Insurance sector gained 0.77% amid rising U.S. bond yields but the banks snapped gains to edge down 0.27%. (Reporting by Junko Fujita; Editing by Rashmi Aich)
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