* SoftBank contributes hefty negative points to Nikkei index
* Insurers and banks underperform
By Ayai Tomisawa
The Nikkei dropped 0.5 percent to 19,432.71 in
midmorning trade after a public holiday on Monday. Earlier, it
hit as low as 19,337.22, the lowest level since
Financial stocks lost ground after U.S. yields rose as
Chicago Federal Reserve President
Evans' public comments were among the first since the U.S. central bank lifted its policy rate a notch last week, as expected.
"Participants in the Japanese market have become cautious
again and their wait-and-see stances will likely last until the
next U.S. rate hike," said
That said, he also said that markets may find short-term
catalysts from Japan Inc.'s earnings forecasts for the next
fiscal year, which will be out in early May when companies
report their full-year earnings for the year ended
SoftBank Group Corp (SFTBF) dropped 2.2 percent and
contributed a hefty negative 21 points to the Nikkei index after
the Wall Street Journal reported that the company scrapped a
"SoftBank's aggressive investment stance in the U.S. has nothing to do with its earnings growth or stock fundamentals, but it affects sentiment," said Mitsushige Akino, chief fund manager at Ichiyoshi Asset Management. "Since SoftBank is one of the 'Trump beneficiary stocks' which had risen earlier, people seem to be taking profits on this report."
Led by founder Masayashi Son, SoftBank has made a string of surprising acquisitions and investments over the past months, which include an all-cash deal to buy asset manager Fortress Investment Group.
Son also promised a
Insurers Dai-ichi Life Holdings stumbled 1.9 percent and Sompo Holdings (NHOLF) fell 1.4 percent. Mitsubishi UFJ Financial Group (MTU) slipped 1.8 percent.
Exporters were mixed, trimming earlier declines after the dollar rose against the yen during Asian trade. Toyota Motor Corp (TM) was down 0.1 percent, Nissan Motor Co (NSANF) gained 0.5 percent and Panasonic Corp (PCRFF) shed 0.3 percent.
The broader Topix dropped 0.2 percent to 1,563.28 and the JPX-Nikkei Index 400 shed 0.2 percent to 13,986.79.
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