TOKYO — Japan’s Nikkei share average fell on Thursday, tracking overnight Wall Street declines, as chip-related stocks were hit after U.S. chip designer Nvidia tanked over a government ban on export of some of its products to China.
The Nikkei dropped 1.49% to 27,673.14 by the midday break, while the broader Topix slipped 1.22% to 1,939.25.
U.S. stocks ended August with their fourth straight daily decline overnight, cementing their weakest August performance in seven years as worries about aggressive interest rate hikes from the Federal Reserve persist.
U.S. Federal Reserve Chair Jerome Powell last Friday indicated the central bank will keep raising interest rates to fight inflation, even as that causes pain for households and businesses.
“Unfortunately, investors have turned bearish,” said Takatoshi Itoshima, strategist at Pictet Asset Management Japan.
“The market was too optimistic about the Fed’s stance so Powell’s remarks sounded too hawkish.”
In Japan, chip giant Tokyo Electron and Advantest lost 2.72% and 3.88%, respectively.
Other heavyweights fell, with Uniqlo clothing store owner Fast Retailing losing 2.01% and technology investor SoftBank Group slipping 2%.
Bucking the trend, house builder Sekisui House jumped 5.45% to become the top gainer on the Nikkei ahead of an announcement of its earnings next week. Condominium developer Haseko rose 2.75%.
Nippon Steel rose 1.43% after a report said the steel maker and Toyota Motor agreed to raise the price of steel materials used for cars in a price hike that could reach up to 30%. Toyota lost 2.4%. (Reporting by Junko Fujita; Editing by Rashmi Aich)