Tech stocks pull Japanese Nikkei down; cautious investors ahead of the Fed and earnings

TOKYO, Jan 24 (Reuters) – Japan’s Nikkei stock average fell on Monday as tech stocks followed a plunge against their Wall Street peers as investors were also cautious ahead of a Reserve policy meeting federal government and the Japanese earnings season is in full swing.

The Nikkei (.N225) fell 0.55% to 27,371.11 at the midday break, with startup investor SoftBank Group (9984.T) the biggest drag on the index, slipping 3, 13%.

Online gaming company Nexon (3659.T) fell 3.62%, while Sony Group (6758.T) fell 2.35% and Nintendo (7974.T) lost 2.21%.

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The broader Topix (.TOPX) fell 0.54% to 1,916.76, with the growth share index (.TOPXG) falling 0.96%, versus a loss of 0.14% for the value index (.TOPXV).

Wall Street suffered its worst weekly decline last week since the early days of the COVID-19 pandemic, with the tech-heavy Nasdaq (.IXIC) plunging 2.72% on Friday.

However, in a sign that the U.S. selloff may have been overdone, Nasdaq futures were up 0.86% on Monday’s reopening. That supported Japanese stocks, averting larger losses, said a market participant at a domestic securities firm.

Despite the Nikkei’s fall, the number of winners and losers was almost evenly balanced, with 109 winners versus 111 decliners and the other five flat.

Energy was the best performing sector amid rising crude prices. Oil company Inpex (1605.T) jumped 4.38%.

The shipping lines also rallied, Kawasaki Kisen’s 4.41% lead (9107.T) making him the Nikkei’s top gainer.

Nikon (7731.T) was another notable gainer, adding 3.96%, after local media reported that rival Canon (7751.T)’s profits are expected to rise 20% this year. Canon shares rose 1.84%.

Shipbuilder Mitsui E&S Holdings (7003.T), which fell 11.96% after the company forecast an even bigger loss for this fiscal year, was the Nikkei’s biggest percentage decliner.

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Tokyo Markets Team Reports; Editing by Rashmi Aich

Our standards: The Thomson Reuters Trust Principles.

Garland K. Long