Asian Markets Update: Shares Edge Lower in Tokyo - TheStreet

TOKYO -- In an otherwise quiet day, Tokyo shares edged lower as institutional investors unwound cross-shareholdings in major

blue chips before the fiscal first half ends in September.

The decline, however, didn't dampen sentiment that much since second-quarter

gross domestic product, which will be released next week, is expected to give a slight boost to Japan's economy.

The key

Nikkei 225

index lost 51.57 to 16,688.21, while the

Topix

index, which includes all shares listed in the

Tokyo Stock Exchange's

first section, shed 5.08 to 1502.40. The

Jasdaq

small-cap index lost 0.93, or 1.1%, to 92.38, while the Nikkei

over-the-counter

index fell 12.87 to 1722.00.

Traders reckon the unwinding of cross-shareholdings will continue for at least another two weeks, as institutional investors try to raise extra profits before their books close for the fiscal first half in September.

Fuji Bank

lost 46 yen, or 5.9%, to 734 ($6.94), while

Seven-Eleven Japan

shed 340, or 5.4%, to 5990.

That said, some buying in large-cap electronic shares from the same large investors are continuing to flow in, albeit in light volume.

Hitachi

(HIT)

rose 24, or 1.9%, to 1264 ($11.94) after the

Nihon Keizai Shimbun

reported over the weekend that the firm will likely post group net profit of 100 billion yen for fiscal 2000, versus 16.92 billion yen profit from the previous year.

NTT DoCoMo

jumped 90,000, or 3.2%, to 2.89 million yen after talk that the firm and U.S.'

Palm

(PALM)

will launch a new Internet connection service in Japan next spring.

Talk that Germany's

DaimlerChrysler

(DCX)

may increase its current 34% stake in troubled

Mitsubishi Motor Sales

helped shares rise 9 yen, or 2.7%, to 349. Police raided Mitsubishi's headquarters and offices for the second time over the weekend to search through company records. They are investigating whether the firm hid customer complaints for more than 20 years.

With Japan's second quarter GDP expected to rise around 1% from the previous quarter, the greenback slightly declined against the yen to 105.82 during Asian trading.

Hong Kong's

Hang Seng

index rose 392.56, or 2.3%, to 17,726.17 after U.S. jobs data made some investors believe that the

Fed may stop hiking interest rates. Fund managers seemed to like

Cheung Kong

, which was up HK$2, or 1.9%, to 105.50 ($13.53) and

Sun Hung Kai Properties

up 2.50, or 3.2%, to 79.75.

After hitting a high of 76 in mid-July, some technical buying lifted shares of

China Mobile Limited

(CHL) - Get Report

, up 2.25, or 3.8%, to 62.00.

Elsewhere in Asia, Korea's

Kospi

index fell 10.89, or 1.6%, to 681.30, while Taiwan's

TWSE

index rose 95.43, or 1.2%, to 7803.02.