Topix sinks to near 4-month low as Apple warning hurts tech shares

  • Reuters
  • Stock Market News
Topix sinks to near 4-month low as Apple warning hurts tech shares
Credit: © Reuters.

TOKYO, Feb 18 (Reuters) - Japanese shares fell on Tuesday, with the broad Topix index finishing at its weakest in nearly four months, as investors sold tech firms after Apple Inc AAPL.O warned it will likely miss quarterly revenue targets due to the coronavirus outbreak.

The benchmark Nikkei average .N225 fell 1.4% to a two-week low of 23,193.80, while the Topix index .TOPX dropped 1.3% to 1,665.71, its lowest close since late October.

All but one of the 33 sector sub-indexes on the Tokyo Stock Exchange were trading lower, with electric machinery .IELEC.T , metal products .IMETL.T and machinery .IMCHN.T , becoming the worst three performers.

Apple told investors late on Monday that its manufacturing facilities in China that produce iPhone and other electronics have begun to re-open, but are ramping up slower than expected. its Japanese suppliers, electric parts maker Murata Manufacturing Co Ltd 6981.T shed 3.4% and Taiyo Yuden Co Ltd 6976.T , which produces ceramic capacitors for iPhones, lost 5.7%, while battery maker TDK Corp 6762.T sank 4.2%.

Also hurting market sentiment was news that the Trump administration was considering changing U.S. regulations to allow it to block shipments of chips to Huawei Technologies HWT.UL from companies such as Taiwan's TSMC 2330.TW , the world's largest contract chipmaker. semiconductor equipment supplier Tokyo Electron Ltd 8035.T tumbled 4.8%, while semiconductor test equipment maker Advantest Corp 6857.T plummeted 5.8%.

Benchmark Nikkei's heavyweight SoftBank Group (SBG) 9984.T declined 4.9% after Indian startup Oyo Hotels and Homes, one of the SBG's high-profile bets, said losses widened more than six-fold in the year ended March 2019. Motor Co 7201.T fell 1.6% as its new chief executive officer said he would accept being fired if he fails to turn around the troubled automaker at an extraordinary shareholders' meeting on Tuesday. Asics Corp 7936.T , one of the sponsors of Tokyo Marathon, slid 3.1% after organisers of the March 1 race said the 38,000 general participants who signed up for the event will not be allowed to compete, citing coronavirus fears. China, the number of new virus cases dropped to 1,886 on Monday from 2,048 the day before. Outside of China, there are 827 cases in 26 countries and regions and five deaths, according to a Reuters count based on official statements. markets also lost ground, with the index of startup-heavy Mothers market .MTHR shedding 2.4%, its biggest one-day decline in nearly three weeks.

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