TOKYO, June 30 (Reuters) - Japanese stocks erased early
gains to trade flat on Wednesday, as investors held back from
making big bets on concerns of the Delta variant of COVID-19 in
Asia and amid a nine-month-old trend of a weak finish on the
last trading of the month.
At midday, the Nikkei average was flat at 28,815.10,
having erased early gains of 0.65%. The broader Topix
edged up 0.03% at 1,949.97.
Shares initially took cues from an overnight rally in Wall
Street, but investor-buying quickly succumbed to anxiety about
the Japanese markets' peculiar pattern since September to fall
on the last trade of the month.
Some market players think it could be due to month-end
rebalancing by big investors, while others think it is just a
"It's just an anomaly. But then again, a lot of people are
talking about it, so it does have some effect on the
psychology," Masato Kogure, group leader of trade execution at
Tokai Tokyo Securities said.
The market flitted within a range, underperforming global
shares as investors weigh the progress in vaccination rollout
against a surge in domestic infections ahead of the Olympics
Among big movers, Sugi Holding tumbled 7.8% after
the drugstore chain operator's quarterly earnings fell short of
Nitto Boseki slid 6.1% after one of its
shareholders announced a plan to sell almost 1 million shares,
or about 2% of the outstanding, of the textile company.
Shares of J. Front Retailing dropped 3.8% after the
department store operator cut its profit outlook.
Chugai Pharmaceutical rose as much as 7.9% after it
applied for regulatory approval in Japan of an antibody
treatment for COVID-19.
Murata Manufacturing gained 3.1% after the company
said it sees merit in lowering the minimum volume investors are
able to trade in its shares while Ushio Inc jumped
12.7% after the lamp maker lifted its earnings outlook, doubling
its net profit forecast for the current year through March.
(Reporting by Hideyuki Sano; editing by Sherry Jacob-Phillips)