Tokyo shares recover losses after bargain hunting

Screens display stock figures at the Tokyo Stock Exchange, operated by Japan Exchange Group Inc in Tokyo. (Bloomberg pic)

TOKYO: Tokyo stocks recovered from earlier losses to end almost flat Wednesday, as the dollar firmed while investors searched for new cues.

The benchmark Nikkei 225 index ended down just 0.14%, or 29.19 points, at 20,593.72, while the broader Topix index fell 0.60%, or 9.40 points, to 1,547.03.

Tokyo shares began trading in the red, touching the day’s low of 20,438.22 a minute after the opening bell, after Wall Street shares ended down.

But “bargain hunters stepped in when the Nikkei 225 dipped below the 20,500 mark”, and the Tokyo market steadily reduced losses, Okasan Online Securities said in a commentary.

Before lunch, the Nikkei recovered ground and the index zigzagged between positive and negative territory in a narrow band for the rest of the session, ending marginally in the red.

The dollar fetched 109.66 yen in Asian trade, up from 109.37 yen in New York on Tuesday, as the Bank of Japan kept its policy in place while revising down its inflation forecasts.

In Tokyo, exporters were broadly lower although some gained, with Olympus closing up 0.55% at 4,565 yen and Nikon ending up 1.06% at 1,713 yen.

Toyota ended down 0.94% at 6,720 yen and Nissan was down 0.38% at 910.3 yen.

Subaru dropped 3.44% to 2,469.5 yen after a technical glitch that has forced the suspension of operations at a domestic plant.