TOKYO, Nov 17 (Reuters) - Japan's Nikkei edged lower on
Thursday, with chip-related companies Tokyo Electron and
Advantest dragging the most after Micron Technology scaled back
its memory chip supply and capital spending, raising concerns of
a slowdown in the industry.
Micron was the first major chipmaker to sound an alarm about
falling demand for personal computers and smartphones earlier
this year in the face of decades-high inflation.
By 0126 GMT, the Nikkei share average was down 0.1%
at 27,991.3, while the broader Topix was up 0.39% at
Chip-making equipment manufacturer Tokyo Electron
fell 2.67% to be the biggest drag in the Nikkei, while
chip-testing equipment maker Advantest slipped 3.58%.
"Those two stocks were blamed for today's loss on the
Nikkei," said Maki Sawada, a strategist for Nomura Securities.
Shares of Micron Technology dropped 6.7% after the
semiconductor firm said it would reduce memory chip supply and
make more cuts to its capital spending plan, as it struggles to
clear excess inventory due to a slump in demand.
The announcement sent Wall Street's S&P 500 information
technology sector 1.4% lower while the Philadelphia SE
Semiconductor index slumped 4.3%.
Rohm fell 4.35% after the Japanese chipmaker said
it was considering joining a consortium led by private-equity
fund Japan Industrial Partners to buy out Toshiba.
Wall Street's main indexes ended lower on Wednesday as a
grim outlook from Target spurred fresh concerns about retailers
heading into the crucial holiday season.
Bucking the trend, retailers and railway operators jumped
after the number of foreign visitors to Japan more than doubled
in October from the previous month, as Japan fully reopened to
overseas visitors after more than two years of COVID-19
Department store operators Isetan Mitsukoshi Holdings
jumped 5.12%, while Takashimaya rose 4.94% and
Marui Group advanced 3.62%.
Train operators Tokyu Corp rose 3.84% and Tobu
Railway climbed 3.54%.
(Reporting by Junko Fujita; Editing by Sherry Jacob-Phillips)