Tokyo stocks drop by break, extending fall on global markets

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TOKYO: Tokyo stocks slipped on Friday morning, following losses across world markets, with messaging app Line expected to announce one of the year’s biggest initial public offerings.

Japanese media said Tokyo-based Line, owned by South Korea’s Naver, was set to win approval from stock market regulators to list in Tokyo and New York as early as next month.

Local reports said Line plans to raise about 100 billion yen ($933 million) in a sale that would value the company at around 600 billion yen.

Bloomberg News cited unnamed sources as saying the sale could raise between $1 billion and $2 billion.


A board meeting was being held Friday to decide on the share sale, a source told AFP.

“Naver wants to push through with the IPO so the chances of the board not approving the sale is quite low,” the source said.

By the break, Tokyo’s benchmark Nikkei 225 index fell 0.49 percent, or 81.70 points, to 16,586.71, continuing the previous day’s slide.

The broader Topix index of all first-section shares lost 0.65 percent, or 8.68 points, to 1,328.73.

Investors are keeping a close eye on a policy meeting by the Bank of Japan next week, while the US Federal Reserve also meets with its rate-hike timeline in focus, analysts said.

Mounting concern about Britain leaving the European Union in a referendum this month was also weighing on markets, analysts said.

“With US stocks falling after hitting key levels and the weakness in oil, overseas factors won’t be supportive for Japanese stocks,” Juichi Wako, a senior strategist at Nomura Holdings, told Bloomberg News.

“Ahead of the Fed and BoJ next week, and the (British) vote… the week after, no one wants to take risks today.”

In share trading, banking giant Mitsubishi UFJ fell 0.30 percent to 524.6 yen while industrial robot maker Fanuc dropped 0.92 percent 16,655 yen.

Toyota rose 0.51 percent to 5,632 yen and Nissan ticked 0.14 percent higher to 1,052.5 yen.

Energy stocks tumbled on lower oil prices, with explorer Inpex slumping 3.21 percent to 881.2 yen and refiner JX Holdings 3.03 percent off at 431.5 yen.

The dollar edged up to 107.19 yen from 107.10 yen Thursday in New York, while yields on 10-year Japanese government bonds dropped to a record low of minus 0.155 percent, after US and European bonds rallied on concerns about the world economy. AFP

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