TOKYO- Tokyo stocks closed 0.25 percent lower on Thursday, snapping a five day winning streak, as profit-taking and a stronger yen dragged the market down in thin holiday trade.
The Nikkei 225 index at the Tokyo Stock Exchange ended down 45.48 points at 17,808.75, while the Topix index of all first-section issues slipped 0.33 percent, or 4.76 points, to 1,421.26.
“The market’s fundamentals haven’t changed much,” Mitsushige Akino, executive officer at Ichiyoshi Asset Management in Tokyo, told Bloomberg News.
“Foreign investors are on holiday, and we don’t have a lot of participants.”
The benchmark Nikkei had gained more than six percent over the past five trading days on confidence in the US economy and the yen’s drop against the dollar, which is a plus for Japanese exporters.
But on Thursday the dollar edged down to 120.14 yen against 120.44 yen in New York.
In Tokyo trade, Japan Airlines tumbled 4.03 percent to 3,570.0 yen after the leading Nikkei business daily reported that Tokyo has decided to scrap a corporate tax waiver previously granted to the once-bankrupt firm.
While Japanese companies that emerge from bankruptcy protection can avoid paying corporate tax for as many as seven years, the government will change the system to exclude firms that re-list their shares, the Nikkei said.
JAL went bankrupt in 2010 but re-listed its shares in Tokyo in 2012 after a government bailout. The airline has posted strong earnings since then.
Bucking the overall downtrend in Tokyo, Sumitomo Mitsui Financial Group rose 1.07 percent to 4,405.5 yen on reports that it will buy Citigroup’s retail business in Japan. The bank confirmed the deal after markets had closed.
Takata shares closed 1.88 percent higher at 1,351.0 yen, a day after the president of the embattled Japanese auto parts maker stepped down over an airbag scandal linked to at least five deaths that has sparked the recall of millions of vehicles.
On Wall Street, the Dow Jones Industrial Average edged to a fresh record in a holiday-shortened session Wednesday, one day after topping 18,000 points for the first time ever, edging up 0.03 percent at 18,030.21.