Japan Stocks Fall as Over 1,500 Topix Members Trade Ex-Dividend

  • Topix volume was about 24 percent below the 30-day average
  • NTT Data gains 2.1 percent after agreeing to buy a Dell unit

Japanese stocks fell, paring the Topix index’s first monthly advance in four months, as more than two-thirds of the companies in the measure traded without the right to receive the next dividend.

The Topix declined 0.3 percent, or 4.25 points, to 1,377.60 at the close in Tokyo, as about five shares rose for every four that fell. More than 1,500 Topix members traded ex-dividend Tuesday, equating to a 13.2 point drag on the measure. The gauge is on course for a 6.1 percent gain in March. The Nikkei 225 Stock Average retreated 0.2 percent to 17,103.53 on Tuesday after briefly rising. Federal Reserve Chair Janet Yellen will speak at an event hosted by the Economic Club of New York.

“There are no huge catalysts right now and we’re not seeing much movement,” said Naoki Fujiwara, chief fund manager at Shinkin Asset Management Co. in Tokyo. Investors are waiting to see what happens with the yen against the dollar, which will be determined by whether or not the Federal Reserve is likely to raise interest rates, he said.

Energy-explorers and airlines led declines among the 33 Topix industry groups, while developers and retailers gained the most. Avex Group Holdings Inc. rose 6 percent after the entertainment company boosted its full-year operating-profit forecast by 62 percent. Nitori Holdings Co. added 6.4 percent after the furniture seller raised its dividend outlook.

NTT, Dell

NTT Data Corp., a unit of Japan’s former telephone monopoly, climbed 2.1 percent after agreeing to buy Dell Inc.’s information-technology services businesses for $3.06 billion as it expands sales outside Japan.

The yen fell 0.2 percent to 113.62 per dollar on Tuesday, retreating for an eighth day and heading for its longest such streak since July 2014. Volume on the Topix was about 24 percent lower than the 30-day average.

Futures on the Standard & Poor’s 500 Index added 0.2 percent. The underlying U.S. equity gauge rose less than 0.1 percent after weaving between gains and losses, as investors assessed economic data for clues on the course for interest rates.

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