TOKYO: Tokyo stocks retreated on Monday as some major automakers and bank shares fell, with investors eyeing key US jobs figures and a European Central Bank policy meeting later in the week.
Shortly before the open, official data showed Japan’s factory output expanded a weaker than expected 1.4 percent in October.
However the figure suggested a possible return to growth in the fourth quarter after the world’s number three economy slipped into recession during July-September.
“It’s not that there’s any particularly bad reason to sell stocks, but (the Dow Jones Industrial Average) fell last Friday and Japan’s industrial production numbers missed estimates, so investors are taking profit,” Soichiro Monji, chief strategist at Daiwa SB Investments, told Bloomberg News.
Tokyo’s benchmark index has surged to three-month highs recently with a weak yen — a plus for Japanese exporters — lending some support.
The benchmark Nikkei 225 index at the Tokyo Stock Exchange fell 0.69 percent, or 136.47 points, to 19,747.47. The Topix index of all first-section shares declined 0.89 percent, or 14.20 points, to 1,580.25.
Among the key trading events this week are a European Central Bank policy meeting that could see further monetary easing and a US jobs report at the end of the week.
Toyota edged down 0.17 percent to 7,657 yen, while rival Honda fell 0.27 percent to 4,002 yen.
Mitsubishi UFJ, one of the country’s leading banks, dropped 1.68 percent to 790 yen and Sumitomo Mitsui Financial Group was down 1.96 percent to 4,697 yen.
Sony fell 2.67 percent to finish the day at 3,177 yen.
In currency markets the greenback eased to 122.75 yen in Tokyo from 122.85 yen Friday in US trade, while the euro weakened to $1.0581 and 129.89 yen from $1.0595 and 130.14 yen.