Japanese stocks follow Wall St down; Topix close at a 19-month low

  • Reuters
  • Stock Market News
Japanese stocks follow Wall St down; Topix close at a 19-month low
Credit: © Reuters.

* Nikkei off 1.82 pct, Topix -1.99 pct to lowest since May 2017

* Cyclical shares hit by global growth worries

By Ayai Tomisawa

TOKYO, Dec 18 (Reuters) - Japanese stocks tracked global peers and tumbled on Tuesday, with the Topix closing at 19-month low, as worries about cooling global growth took a toll on cyclical stocks.

The Nikkei share average .N225 ended the day down 1.82 percent at 21,115.45 after touching 21,107.13, its lowest level since Dec. 11.

The index edged towards a trough of 20,971.93 reached in late October, and a drop below that level would take it to a nine-month low.

The broader Topix .TOPX closed 1.99 percent lower at 1,562.51, its weakest point since May 2017.

Cyclicals such as electronics products makers and technology stocks - sectors generally seen benefiting when the economy is expected to perform well - bore the brunt of selling.

Fujitsu Ltd 6702.T slid 2.9 percent, Sony Corp 6758.T tumbled 4.4 percent, Nintendo Co 7974.T declined 3.3 percent and Sumco Corp 3436.T shed 1.2 percent.

"Mid-to-long investors are changing their global asset allocations to reflect their risk-averse stance," said Shogo Maekawa, global market strategist at JPMorgan (NYSE: JPM ) Asset Management.

"They are reducing risky assets like stocks and adding more fixed income products such as short-term U.S. bonds."

On Monday, Wall Street's major indexes all slid more than 2 percent on concerns about slowing economic growth ahead of a Federal Reserve meeting this week that will be closely watched for clues on the U.S. monetary policy outlook in 2019. .N

Exporters sagged with the yen JPY= reaching its strongest level in a week against the dollar. Toyota Motor Corp 7267.T fell 0.9 percent, Bridgestone Corp 5108.T lost 1.5 percent and Nikon Corp 7731.T shed 1.1 percent.

Tuesday's losers included Takeda Pharmaceutical 4502.T , which tumbled 8.9 percent after Moody's cut its rating to Baa2 from A2 on its decision to purchase Shire Plc SHP.L . 4666.T slumped 12.5 percent after the parking lot operator forecast a 7.6 percent drop in its current fiscal year net profit.

Daito Trust Construction Co 1878.T bucked the trend and rose 1.3 percent after saying it will buy back 86.8 billion yen ($771 million) of its own shares, equivalent to 9.4 percent of outstanding stock. ($1 = 112.5700 yen)

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