Tokyo stocks fell Tuesday on late profit-taking, with investors keeping to the sidelines as major global markets remained closed for the Christmas holidays.
“As trading has gotten thinner with a lack of fresh trading factors, investors appear (to be) cashing in on their recent gains,” said Hikaru Sato, senior technical analyst at Daiwa Securities.
“Sluggish trading is expected to continue for now as the market is in holiday mode,” Sato told AFP.
The benchmark Nikkei 225 lost 0.20 percent, or 46.49 points, to close at 22,892.69 while the broader Topix index was down 0.27 percent, or 4.92 points, at 1,827.01.
“It is difficult to see a clear direction in the market as foreign investors are absent from trade with transaction volumes low,” Okasan Online Securities said in a commentary.
Investors are awaiting the release Thursday of minutes from the Bank of Japan’s policy meeting last week, it said.
The dollar changed hands at 113.29 yen, almost unchanged from 113.25 yen in Tokyo late Monday.
Some blue-chip shares were lower, with Nintendo losing 1.60 percent at 41,680 yen and Canon trading down 0.47 percent at 4,398 yen.
Mitsubishi UFJ Financial was down 0.45 percent at 836 yen while its rival Sumitomo Mitsui Financial slipped 0.67 percent to 4,884 yen.
Chinese stocks ended higher on Tuesday, led by heavyweight banking and gas-related shares.
The benchmark Shanghai Composite Index advanced 0.78 percent, or 25.66 points, to close at 3,306.12.
The Shenzhen Composite Index, which tracks stocks on China’s second exchange, climbed 0.43 percent, or 8.13 points, to 1,892.02.
“The markets regained some of the ground lost in previous sessions but it is hard to predict if they will maintain steam as the end of year approaches,” said Zhang Yanbing, an analyst with Zheshang Securities.
South Korean shares closed down 0.54 percent on profit-taking by investors following last week’s rally.
Financial markets in Hong Kong, Jakarta, Sydney and Wellington were closed for the holidays.