TOKYO, Dec 19 (Reuters) - Japan's Nikkei share average edged down on Tuesday morning in choppy trade, as construction stocks extended a punishing sell-off on growing concerns some of the firms may have breached antitrust regulations.
The Nikkei .N225 was flat at 22,905.40 in midmorning trade, after opening up 0.3 percent.
The construction sector .ICNST.T slipped 1.5 percent and was the worst performer on the board, after Tokyo prosecutors raided Japanese construction companies on suspicion of antitrust breaches related to $80 billion worth of magnetic levitation (maglev) train line projects. Corp 1801.T , one of the so-called "big four" group of Japanese construction firms involved in the maglev project, was the latest to be raided. Its shares tumbled 5.3 percent to more than a three-month low.
Peers Shimizu Corp 1803.T and Kajima Corp 1812.T were raided on Monday also on suspicion of antitrust breaches related to the projects. Obayashi Corp 1802.T is already under investigation for suspected bid-rigging over maglev-related contracts. Shimizu dropped 3.0 percent, Kajima shed 5.4 percent, while Obayashi declined 1.6 percent. the scope of the probe has broadened the scale of the suspected wrongdoing remained unknown and prosecutors declined to comment.
The broader Topix .TOPX shed 0.1 percent to 1,815.86.
Add Chart to Comment
We encourage you to use comments to engage with users, share your perspective and ask questions of authors and each other. However, in order to maintain the high level of discourse we’ve all come to value and expect, please keep the following criteria in mind:
- Enrich the conversation
- Stay focused and on track. Only post material that’s relevant to the topic being discussed.
- Be respectful. Even negative opinions can be framed positively and diplomatically.
- Use standard writing style. Include punctuation and upper and lower cases.
- NOTE: Spam and/or promotional messages and links within a comment will be removed
- Avoid profanity, slander or personal attacks directed at an author or another user.
- Don’t Monopolize the Conversation. We appreciate passion and conviction, but we also believe strongly in giving everyone a chance to air their thoughts. Therefore, in addition to civil interaction, we expect commenters to offer their opinions succinctly and thoughtfully, but not so repeatedly that others are annoyed or offended. If we receive complaints about individuals who take over a thread or forum, we reserve the right to ban them from the site, without recourse.
- Only English comments will be allowed.
Perpetrators of spam or abuse will be deleted from the site and prohibited from future registration at Investing.com’s discretion.