Tokyo shares close down

24 May, 2019 12:00 AM printer

TOKYO: Tokyo shares closed lower on Thursday with key high-tech shares hit as US-China trade and tech disputes intensified.

The benchmark Nikkei 225 index fell 0.62 percent, or 132.23 points, to 21,151.14, while the broader Topix index slipped 0.36 percent, or 5.63 points, to 1,540.58.

Tokyo shares opened lower following drops on Wall Street amid gathering trade frictions, reports AFP.

“High-tech shares were the victim as fears grew over the US-China trade war,” Shinichi Yamamoto, broker at Okasan Securities in Tokyo, told AFP.

Tensions between Beijing and Washington have increased after President Donald Trump banned telecoms giant Huawei from the US market and prevented American firms from selling to it.

Heavy selling of chip-related shares also came with US chip titan Qualcomm diving after a federal judge found the company had “strangled competition” by violating US anti-trust laws.

The dollar fetched 110.29 yen in Asian afternoon trade, compared with 110.30 yen in New York.

In Tokyo, electronics manufacturer TDK plunged 6.52 percent to 7,450 yen, while Sony dropped 3.73 percent to 5,366 yen.

Chip-testing equipment maker Advantest lost 2.55 percent to 2,669 yen, and chip-making equipment maker Tokyo Electron was off 2.45 percent at 14,910 yen.

Panasonic was down 0.88 percent at 896.6 yen after it said it would stop supplying some components to Huawei following the US ban.

SoftBank Group dropped 5.30 percent to 10,090 yen after a report that the US Department of Justice’s antitrust staff were against the proposed $26 billion merger between Sprint and T-Mobile.

SoftBank owns the majority of Sprint shares.