Tokyo stocks extended their losing streak to four days Wednesday, as initial gains were erased on growing concerns over energy prices after the United States decided to ban Russian oil and other energy imports over Moscow’s invasion of Ukraine.
The 225-issue Nikkei Stock Average ended down 73.42 points, or 0.30 percent, from Tuesday at 24,717.53, its lowest level since Nov. 6, 2020. The broader Topix index of all First Section issues on the Tokyo Stock Exchange finished 0.97 points, or 0.06 percent, lower at 1,758.89.
Decliners were led by electric power and gas, marine transportation, and precision instrument issues.
The U.S. dollar was firm in the upper 115 yen range following a rise in U.S. Treasury yields overnight on concerns over inflation, dealers said.
The market gave up its earlier gains that reached nearly 300 points at one stage as selling pressure increased toward the close on the bleaker outlook for energy prices.
The United States said Tuesday it will ban imports of Russian oil and other energy products, effective immediately, raising worries about the impact of the decision on businesses and the global economy.
Britain said the same day it would phase out imports of Russian oil by the end of the year, while the European Union unveiled a plan to eventually become independent from Russian fossil fuels.
Solid investor appetite for undervalued stocks after the Nikkei index lost more than 6 percent to a 16-month low in the past three trading days initially boosted the market.
“Stocks had been oversold over the past few days so investors hunted for bargains amid a lack of fresh trading cues,” said Koichi Fujishiro, a senior economist at Dai-ichi Life Research Institute.
But the market also became concerned that Russia could be subject to international sanctions in the long term, which may further push up elevated commodity prices, Fujishiro said.
On the First Section, declining issues outnumbered advancers 1,209 to 886, while 85 ended unchanged.
Kikkoman plunged 560 yen, or 6.7 percent, to 7,840 yen, on worries that soaring soy and wheat prices amid the Ukraine crisis could raise production costs at the soy sauce maker.
Exporters were supported after the yen weakened slightly overnight against the U.S. dollar. Honda Motor rose 25 yen, or 0.8 percent, to 3,069 yen, Mitsubishi Motors ended up 3 yen, or 1.2 percent, at 257 yen and Mazda Motor gained 12 yen, or 1.7 percent, to 727 yen.
Trading volume on the main section fell to 1,500.51 million shares from Tuesday’s 1,873.40 million shares.