TOKYO, Dec.30 (Reuters) – Japan’s Nikkei stock average ended lower on the last trading day of the year, retreating from a record of more than three decades in the previous session then that investors had recorded profits, but it recorded gains for a second consecutive year.
Nikkei’s benchmark stock average fell 0.45% to 27,444.17 on Wednesday, after closing at its highest level since August 16, 1990 in the previous session.
The wider Topix slipped 0.8% to 1,804.68, falling from its highest level since October 2018 reached on Tuesday.
Over the year, the Nikkei index rose 16% from a gain of 18.2% in 2019. It rose nearly 18.4% during the quarter, marking the largest quarterly gain since three months ended March 2013.
The Topix was almost 4.8% higher in 2020 after climbing more than 15.2% the previous year.
Japanese financial markets will be closed from Thursday and reopen on Monday January 4.
“Few investors would be willing to force themselves into year-end positions, especially a day after many market players have made large purchases,” said one market player.
Market sentiment was also affected by overnight losses on Wall Street, as doubts re-emerged over whether the US Senate would allow additional controls on aid in the event of a pandemic.
U.S. Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell has delayed the vote on President Donald Trump’s call to increase pandemic relief payments to $ 2,000.
All but four of the Tokyo Stock Exchange’s 33 sector sub-indices traded lower.
The best underperformers among the Topix 30 were Honda Motor and Shin-Etsu Chemical, losing 1.78% and 1.66% respectively.
Seiko Epson Corp, Mitsui E&S Holdings and Sapporo Holdings were the biggest losers as a percentage of the index, falling from 3.26% to 3.89%.
Renewable energy developer Renova rose 4.9% to its record, benefiting from rising investor expectations for clean energy.
The Start-up Mothers Index rose 0.37%, ending with the biggest annual gain since 2013. (Report by Eimi Yamamitsu and the Tokyo Markets Team; edited by Vinay Dwivedi)