A pedestrian walks past a stock indicator board displaying share prices of the Tokyo Stock Exchange in Tokyo on January 7, 2019. – Tokyo stocks closed up more than two percent on January 7, 2019, after European and US markets roared last week on strong US data and dovish comments from the US Federal Reserve. (Photo by Behrouz MEHRI / AFP)
Agence France-Presse

Tokyo stocks fell on Tuesday as declines on Wall Street following weak US construction data triggered profit-taking.

The benchmark Nikkei 225 index lost 0.44 percent, or 95.76 points, to close at 21,726.28, while the broader Topix index was down 0.51 percent, or 8.36 points, at 1,619.23.

Investors cashed in on recent gains after seeing Wall Street stocks sag on lower-than-expected US construction spending in December, brokers said.

“Investors also took a wait-and-see stance looking to new developments in the US-China trade row,” said Daiwa Securities senior technical analyst Hikaru Sato.

Beijing and Washington have been edging closer to an agreement in recent weeks following regular talks.

“But market sentiment is not so bad,” Sato told AFP. “A quick rebound is likely.”

The dollar fetched 111.92 yen in Asian afternoon trade, against 111.72 yen in New York late Monday.

In Tokyo, heavy machinery manufacturer IHI dipped 2.71 percent to 2,906 yen after it confirmed a report that unqualified workers had conducted quality checks for hundreds of engines for private jets.

China-linked shares were among the losers as Beijing lowered its economic growth target to 6.0-6.5 percent for 2019.

Construction machine maker Komatsu was down 1.49 percent at 2,770 yen, electronic parts maker Rohm was off by 1.24 percent at 7,140 yen and industrial robot maker Fanuc dipped 1.28 percent to 19,200 yen.

Nissan dropped 2.32 percent to 940.1 yen as a court granted its former chief Carlos Ghosn bail after more than three months in a detention cell.

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