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Tokyo shares sink on ex-dividend day

By AFP - Apr 01,2024 - Last updated at Apr 01,2024

TOKYO — Tokyo stocks dropped in early trade last week after investors locked in dividend rights during the previous session.

The benchmark Nikkei 225 index fell 1.10 per cent, or 449.41 points, to 40,313.32 in early trade, while the broader Topix index gave up 1.02 per cent, or 28.56 points, to 2,770.72.

The Nikkei surged on Wednesday, the final day for investors to secure the rights to dividends for various shares before the Japanese fiscal year ends this week.

On Thursday the headline index was expected to drop as investors adjust their positions, while a sense of optimism remains about Japanese shares. 

"The point today is how far the Nikkei could recover" from these falls, brokerage house Monex said.

The Tokyo market was also facing pressure after recent rallies, analysts said.

Eyes are also on the forex market after the yen plunged on Wednesday to 151.97 to the dollar — a 34-year low — before hovering around 151.25 yen as European markets opened. 

This prompted Tokyo's currency officials to reiterate that they might take action if they see excessive currency moves.

The dollar stood at 151.35 yen in Tokyo on Thursday morning.

Among major shares, Sony Group fell 1.89 per cent to 12,955 yen, and Toyota lost 1.04 per cent to 3,813 yen. 

SoftBank Group fell 0.70 per cent to 8,986 yen, while Uniqlo operator Fast Retailing fell 0.92 per cent to 46,500 yen.

Mitsubishi Heavy Industries jumped 2.97 per cent to 1,387 yen after dropping on Wednesday, as the government announced a plan to develop a new passenger jet that the company is expected to help develop.

Kobayashi Pharmaceutical added 1.39 per cent to 4,943 yen. The company's shares plunged this week as the firm faces a growing scare over its health supplements following a recall.

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