Nikkei falls on discounting for dividend, currency intervention caution – Markets

TOKYO: Japan’s Nikkei share average fell on Thursday as numerous stocks were discounted for dividend rights before the fiscal year end, while caution over a potential currency intervention to shore up the yen also weighed on sentiment.

The Nikkei ended down 1.46% at 40,168.07, with 202 of its 225 components falling versus just 23 that rose. The index is, however, still set for a 20% jump in the January-March quarter.

The broader Topix slid 1.73% to 2,750.81.

“The market is cautious about a possible currency intervention. It is not clear at which level and when the Japanese government will step in,” said Shuji Hosoi, a senior strategist at Daiwa Securities.

“Foreign investors are eager to buy Japanese stocks but they want to buy them cheap. So they are monitoring how far the yen is allowed to fall.” The yen fell to a 34-year low against the dollar on Wednesday, prompting Japan’s three main monetary authorities to hold an emergency meeting to discuss the weak yen.

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