Japan’s Nikkei share average edged down in choppy trade on Monday morning as the dollar is off its highs against the yen, while Tokyo Electric Power stumbled after an anti-nuclear candidate won a Japanese regional election. The overall market’s mood had been supported by a dollar being above 104.00 yen since Friday when upbeat US retail sales data reinforced expectations for a December interest rate hike by the Federal Reserve.
But the greenback dipped below the 104.00 level during Asian trade.
The Nikkei fell 0.1 percent to 16,844.51 in midmorning trade after trading in positive territory earlier.
“Investors’ risk stances have improved since the upbeat US data, so unless the dollar falls against the yen further, the market should not fall sharply,” said Takuya Takahashi, a strategist at Daiwa Securities.
Tokyo Electric Power Company Holdings dived 8 percent and was the third biggest percentage loser on the board, making the utility sector the worst performer.
Ryuichi Yoneyama, 49, a doctor-lawyer who has never held office, won the vote on Sunday after a campaign dominated by concerns over the future of the Kashiwazaki-Kariwa power station and nuclear safety.
Major exporters were mixed, with Toyota Motor Corp rising 0.3 percent, Honda Motor Co falling 0.7 percent and Advantest Corp advancing 0.2 percent.
Real estate stocks and securities shares outperformed. Mitsui Fudosan Co rose 1.9 percent, Mitsubishi Estate Co gained 1.5 percent. Nomura Holdings gained 1.2 percent and Daiwa Securities added 0.9 percent. The broader Topix shed 0.1 percent to 1,346.22 and the JPX-Nikkei Index 400 was flat at 12,046.42.