Japan share market closed down for fourth straight session on Thursday, 09 May 2019, as the yen relatively high against the dollar and cautious ahead of high level trade talks in Washington between the US and China tomorrow kept investors away from the market. Total 31 issues of 33 subsectors of the Tokyo Stock Exchange declined, with shares in Fishery, Agriculture & Forestry, Electric Power & Gas, Marine Transportation, Construction, Pulp & Paper, and Transportation Equipment issues being notable losers At closing bell, the 225-issue Nikkei Stock Average declined 0.93%, or 200.46 points, to end at 21,402.13, while the broader Topix index of all First Section issues on the Tokyo Stock Exchange was off 1.38%, or 21.62 points, at 1,550.71.
Uncertainty over US-China trade led stocks up and down in a rocky trading session after White House Press Secretary Sarah Sanders told reporters that China had informed the administration that the country wants to make a trade deal with the United States. Investors were closely watching US-China trade talks and whether Washington will follow through on its threat to hike tariffs on Chinese-made imports on Friday.
The US President Donald Trump tweeted on Wednesday that China's Vice Premier Liu He was coming to the United States to "make a deal". Liu's scheduled trip to the United States had been a glimmer of hope for investors this week, suggesting that trade negotiations could still advance to avoid a fully fledged trade war between the world's two largest economies.
This week's global selloff in stocks came after the United States made new threats to impose additional tariffs on Chinese imports. That led investors to believe that a market-positive outcome from the trade talks between the US and China was further off than previously believed and might not lead to a deal at all.
On Sunday, President Donald Trump tweeted that existing tariffs on Chinese goods could be upped to 25% from 10% currently. Treasury secretary Steven Mnuchin and US trade representative Robert Lighthizer confirmed that higher tariffs would be possible by Friday in comments late Monday.
Automakers mostly lost with Toyota down 3.2%, Nissan down 1.8%, and Honda off 4.68%. Toyota's results published on Wednesday disappointed investors with net profits down by nearly a quarter and forecasts falling short of expectations. Meanwhile, Honda said net profit plunged 42.4% to 610 billion yen, citing losses related to the reorganisation of its automobile production in Europe.
SoftBank Group's mobile unit SoftBank Corp rallied 6.9 after it reported better-than-expected operating profit and full-year profit forecasts - also saying it plans to boost dividend. SoftBank Group released results after the market closed, reporting net profit rose 35.8%.
ECONOMIC NEWS: Japan Consumer Confidence Falls To 3 Year Low In April -- Japan's consumer confidence index for households with two or more persons fell to a seasonally adjusted 40.4 in April from 40.5 in March, data from the Cabinet Office showed on Thursday. The latest reading was the lowest since February 2016, when the confidence index was 40.2.
CURRENCY NEWS: The Japanese yen continued appreciation against the dollar on Thursday, as nervous investors seek safe-haven assets on renewed worries over US-China trade war. The dollar changed hands at 109.90 yen in Asian afternoon trade, down from 110.10 yen in New York on Wednesday.
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