TOKYO: – Tokyo stocks closed 1.57 percent lower Monday as investors shrugged off Prime Minister Shinzo Abe’s widely expected weekend election win and focused on drops on Wall Street and lower oil prices.
The Nikkei 225 index at the Tokyo Stock Exchange ended down 272.18 points at 17,099.40. The Topix index of all first-section issues was off 1.45 percent, or 20.36 points, at 1,379.29.
Abe’s ruling coalition scored a major victory in Sunday’s general election, retaining its two-thirds majority in the lower house.
“The elections are a net plus for the market, but really came as no surprise and thus are not likely to be a very large factor in today’s trading,” said Nomura Securities equity market strategist Junichi Wako.
“Analysts are essentially back to where they were before — hoping for a thorough fleshing out of Abe’s plan to revitalise the economy,” he told Dow Jones Newswires.
A survey by the Bank of Japan showed Monday that confidence among major Japanese manufacturers edged down in the three months to December.
“Weakness on Wall Street, the dollar, and in oil prices are all contributing to the Nikkei’s fall,” said Yutaka Miura, senior technical analyst at Mizuho Securities.
“The technical inability of the Nikkei to rise and hold above the 18,000 level in past weeks has also contributed to the feeling of an upside limit, which has become a further disincentive against chasing the market up,” he said.
“All eyes are now on the US Fed (which meets December 16-17) and its take on the state of the economic recovery,” Miura said.
More confidence in the economy could fuel speculation that the US central bank will start raising its key rate sooner than later, bolstering the dollar.
But in Asian trade Monday as sliding oil prices provoked growth concerns, the dollar was trading at 118.60 yen against 118.78 yen in New York late Friday.
Among major exporters, Toyota lost 2.52 percent to 7,311.0 yen and Sony fell 3.58 percent to 2,353.0 yen.
Oil exploration companies eased, with Japan Petroleum Exploration off 0.28 percent at 3,545.0 yen.
But by the closing bell Inpex edged up 0.89 percent at 1,235.5 yen.