TOKYO, June 22 (Reuters) - Japan's Nikkei index gave up
early gains to end lower on Wednesday, as simmering worries
about the risk of a recession pushed U.S. stock futures lower
after big overnight gains on Wall Street.
The Nikkei share average fell 0.37% to 26,149.55,
after rising as much as 0.82% and hitting its highest in almost
a week at 26,462.83.
The index dipped to 26,157.09 at its lowest point on
Wednesday, but stayed solidly above the psychological 26,000
level it reclaimed on Tuesday. It bounced from a three-month low
just above 25,500 reached at the start of the week.
Of the Nikkei components, 86 stocks advanced against 131
The broader Topix also gave up early gains to end
0.19% lower at 1,852.65.
U.S. e-mini stock futures last pointed to a 1.14%
drop, after the S&P 500 rallied 2.45% overnight.
Most other Asian equity markets fell, including a 1.45%
decline for Hong Kong's Hang Seng and a 0.51% slide for
mainland Chinese blue chips.
Market participants said that until there's confirmation
that red-hot U.S. inflation has peaked out, the risk that very
aggressive Federal Reserve policy tightening could trigger a
recession will keep stock markets heavy.
Some also noted that Japanese stocks have increasingly taken
trading cues from U.S. equity futures.
"We're being pulled by the weakness in U.S. futures again
today, making for unsettled price action in the Nikkei," said a
market participant at a domestic asset management firm.
Automakers were among the winners, with the yen near 24-year
lows to the dollar boosting the value of overseas sales.
Toyota added 0.82% and Nissan gained
2.24%. Nissan alliance partner Mitsubishi Motors was
the Nikkei's biggest percentage gainer, up 7.11%.
The biggest points gainer was Uniqlo store operator Fast
Retailing, contributing 17.56 points to the Nikkei with
its 0.72% advance.
Financial conglomerate SBI Holdings rallied 2.78%
amid media reports that Sumitomo Mitsui Financial Group is in
final talks to buy a 10% stake. SMFG was 0.02% lower.
Chip-making equipment makers Tokyo Electron was the
biggest drag on the benchmark index, losing 3.85%.
(Reporting by Tokyo markets team; Editing by Uttaresh.V)