Tokyo’s Nikkei ends yr with first annual loss since 2011 | 2018-12-30

Tokyo’s Nikkei ends yr with first annual loss since 2011

30 December, 2018 12:00 AM printer

TOKYO: Tokyo’s benchmark Nikkei index closed lower, ending the year with its first annual loss since 2011, as negative factors including US-China trade tensions weighed on the market.

The bellwether index lost 12.1 percent from a year earlier to end at 20,014.77 in roller-coaster trade, while the broader Topix index was down 17.8 percent in 2018 at 1,494.09.

The Nikkei 225 index surged to a 27-year high in October on a cheap yen and rallies on Wall Street but has since rolled downslope. The index lost more than five percent on Tuesday to have the worst finish since April 2017, reports AFP.

On Friday alone, the Nikkei lost 0.31 percent and the Topix fell 0.50 percent as investors cashed in ahead of the New Year holidays. The Tokyo markets will not resume trading until Friday next week.

The Nikkei last ended the year with a loss in 2011, when a massive earthquake and tsunami hit the world’s third largest economy.

But it had scored annual rises since then, for which analysts credit Prime Minister Shinzo Abe’s so-called “Abenomics” economic strategy.

“The Nikkei scored annual gains for the past six years under Abenomics but it’s not the case any more,” Makoto Sengoku, market analyst at Tokai Tokyo Research Centre.

“This is because of large swings caused by the Trump administration rather than domestic problems,” he told AFP, noting President Donald Trump’s trade spat with China weighed particularly on the market.

Japan “cannot be unaffected when the world’s two biggest economies are fighting,” he said.