Nikkei falls to 3-week low on profit-taking, soft tankan survey

martes 31 de marzo de 2015 21:53 GYT
 

* Japanese investors take profits on first day of 2015/16
    * BOJ's tankan softer than expected
    * Drugmakers and other recent gainers hit hardest

    By Hideyuki Sano
    TOKYO, April 1 (Reuters) - Tokyo shares fell on Wednesday as
investors sold recent gainers to lock in profit on the first day
of Japanese financial year and after soft reading on the Bank of
Japan's tankan business sentiment survey.
    Both the Nikkei share average and the Topix fell below their
25-day moving average, a key short-term support level, clouding
the outlook for the market that posted its biggest gain in five
quarters in January-March.
    The Nikkei fell as much as 1.5 percent to 18,927.95
points, its lowest in three weeks and falling below the 25-day
average, which stood around 19,155, for the first time in two
months.
    It last stood at 19,035.65, down 0.9 percent on the day.
    "We are at a watershed at the moment. A close below the
25-day moving average would probably lead to a near-term
correction in the market," said Takashi Oba, senior strategist
at Okasan Securities.
    Dampening market sentiment, the Bank of Japan's tankan
corporate sentiment survey showed big manufacturers plan to cut
capital spending in coming months amid concerns about weak
domestic and global demand. 
    Both big manufacturers and non-manufacturers expect business
conditions to worsen slightly in the coming three months, the
survey showed, suggesting that the economy's recovery from a
sales tax hike in April 2014 is not gaining traction.
    "The tankan was a bit of negative surprise, showing little
improvement in sentiment," said Soichiro Monji, chief strategist
at Daiwa SB Investments.
    The data came after Wall Street shares tumbled on Tuesday on
growing worries a strong dollar could bite into U.S. corporate
profits.
    In light of increasingly volatile U.S. stocks, Japanese
investors booked profits from gains in Tokyo shares as their new
financial year began on Wednesday, with recent gainers hit the
hardest.
    Drugmakers, the best performer in Jan-March ,
became the worst performing sector in the Tokyo bourse, dropping
2.2 percent.
    Eisai, which gained a whopping 82.7 percent in the
first quarter fell, 2.9 percent while Takeda Pharmaceutical
 dropped 2.8 percent.
    Retail companies, another winner during the last
quarter, fell 1.5 percent, with Seven&I Holding 
shedding 2.5 percent and Don Quijote Holding 3.7
percent.
    Among exporters, Toyota Motor fell 2.0 percent and
Nissan Motor dropped 2.1 percent. 
    The broader Topix dropped 0.9 percent to 1,528.99,
falling below its 25-day average around 1,550. The JPX-Nikkei
Index 400 fell 0.9 percent to 13,891.76.

 (Editing by Kim Coghill)