Japan's Nikkei set for worst week since Dec 2022 as tech tumbles

  • Reuters
  • Stock Market News
Japan's Nikkei set for worst week since Dec 2022 as tech tumbles
Credit: © Reuters.

By Kevin Buckland

TOKYO (Reuters) - Japan's Nikkei share average tumbled more than 2% to a three-week low on Friday, putting it on course for its worst week since December 2022 as tech shares slid on Wall Street's lead.

Investors were also cautious ahead of a key monthly U.S. jobs report due later in the day, with the outlook for when the Federal Reserve will cut interest rates becoming increasingly unclear this week.

The Nikkei was down 2.42%, or 961 points, at 38,812.24, as of the midday recess, bringing its loss for the week to 3.86%.

"The biggest factor for the Nikkei's decline is technical," said Kazuo Kamitani, an equities strategist at Nomura Securities.

The benchmark index was poised for a second weekly loss, after it rallied to an all-time high of 41,087.75 on March 22.

The 25-day moving average turned lower on Friday, and should it remain that way, "there's the risk that the Nikkei is in for another step down from here," he said.

"The 25-day moving average has a mysterious gravitational pull, and is very much in focus for the market," Kamitani added. "All of next week, stock market moves could be a bit volatile."

Chip sector shares were among the biggest drags on Friday, with Tokyo Electron (TYO: 8035 ) dropping nearly 5% to shave 192 points from the Nikkei. Advantest erased another 78 points with a 4.7% decline.

Other notable losers included startup investor SoftBank Group (TYO: 9984 ), which lost 3.35%, and Uniqlo chain operator Fast Retailing (TYO: 9983 ), which skidded 2.5%.

Of the Nikkei's 225 components, 214 declined while only 11 advanced.

The broader Topix lost 1.81%, with a sub-index of growth shares dropping 2.05%, compared with a 1.6% slide for value stocks.

© Reuters. A visitor using his smartphone takes photos of an electronic screen displaying Japan's Nikkei share average, which surged past an all-time record high scaled in December 1989, inside a building in Tokyo, Japan February 22, 2024.  REUTERS/Issei Kato/File Photo

Energy shares provided the one bright spot among Nikkei sectors, climbing 0.73% after crude oil closed above $90 for the first time since last October. [O/R]

Oil refiner Inpex (TYO: 1605 ) was the Nikkei's biggest percentage gainer with a 1.3% jump.



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