Nikkei stumbles as trade hopes dwindle, factory woes deepen
* Machinery, shippers sold after trade optimism fades
* Nexon soars after report Amazon and others submit bids foritsholding firm
By Ayai Tomisawa
Japanese stocks widened their losses in late trade, withtraders noting investors were closing their positions as theyawaited more details from the U.S.-North Korea summit inVietnam.
U.S. President Donald Trump and North Korean leader Kim JongUn cut short their summit schedule during a second day of talksin Vietnam on Thursday.
"The market became a bit nervous on why the summit was cutshort, so investors decided to take a wait-and-see stance," saidHikaru Sato, a senior technical analyst at Daiwa Securities.
White House spokeswoman Sarah Sanders later confirmed theUnited States and North Korea did not reach an agreement. "Noagreement was reached at this time, but their respective teamslook forward to meeting in the future," she said. urn:newsml:reuters.com:*:nL5N20M8N0
The Nikkei share average .N225 ended 0.8 percent lower at21,385.16 points.
Sentiment remained negative throughout the day, as U.S.Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer told a congressionalhearing the United States and China still had hard work ahead tosettle their trade dispute in his first public comments sinceTrump announced a delay to a planned hike in U.S. import tariffson Sunday. urn:newsml:reuters.com:*:nL1N20M0XG
"Caution about trade deals returned to the market," saidShingo Ide, chief equity strategist at NLI Research Institute."The market's consensus has become that a U.S.-China tradeskirmish will last for a while."
Worsening the mood, Japan's factory output fell the most ina year in January in a sign slowing Chinese demand and theSino-U.S. trade war are taking an increasing toll on thecountry's manufacturers, a major driver of economic growth. urn:newsml:reuters.com:*:nL3N20L1UA
Machinery and cyclical shares such as shippers lost ground,with Fanuc Corp6954.T falling 2.1 percent, Tokyo Electron8035.T sliding 1.6 percent, Komatsu Ltd6301.T shedding 2.6percent and Mitsui OSK Lines 9104.T shedding 1.6 percent.
The electric machinery sector .IELEC.T slipped 1.6 percentand the shipping sector .ISHIP.T dropped 1.5 percent to be thetwo worst performers on the board.
Online gaming company Nexon Co3659.T jumped 4.7 percentafter Maeil Business Newspaper said on Wednesday that Amazon.comInc AMZN.O , Comcast CorpCMCSA.O and Electronic Arts IncEA.O submitted initial bids for its holding firm NXC Corp,citing investment banking sources. urn:newsml:reuters.com:*:nL3N20M5RM
The broader Topix .TOPX fell 0.8 percent to 1,607.66.
Declining issues outnumbered advancing ones 1,337 to 702.