TOKYO -- Japanese shares closed lower as futures traders shuffled positions ahead of the settlement of September futures and options contracts on Friday. However, with most cash stock buyers out of the market until the volatility in futures trading subsides, the market was relatively quiet.
index shed 235.94, or 1.4%, to close at 16,452.27, while the
index, which includes all shares listed on the
Tokyo Stock Exchange's
first section, lost 11.36 to finish at 1491.04. The
small-cap index fell 1.37, or 1.7%, to end the day at 81.01, while the Nikkei
market lost 16.54, or 1.0%, to close at 1704.91.
Traders reckon trading in the futures market will dominate until Thursday, as players adjust positions before derivatives contracts expire, which is dubbed the
settlement of special quotations
. September Nikkei 225 futures fell 340.00 to 16,400, while September Topix futures fell 16.00 to 1485.
With most institutional and retail investors waiting for the futures' market volatility to settle, the only thing the cash market saw was some unwinding in cross-shareholdings in selected bank shares. The
Industrial Bank of Japan
lost 6 yen to 729 ($6.86), while the
Bank of Tokyo Mitsubishi
shed 1 to 1343.
Most large-cap tech shares were flat to lower, including
, down 40, or 3.9%, to 999. Despite announcing a two-for-one stock split, shares of
shed 900,000, or 3.0%, to 29.3 million. Some traders thought supply may exceed demand after the split, which is scheduled for Sept. 29.
On the upside,
, which recently announced a deal with the U.S.'
to introduce new products in Japan, rose 30,000, or 1.0%, to 2.92 million.
In lethargic trading, the greenback gained against the yen to recently buy 106.23.
After rising nearly 600 points over the last two sessions, Hong Kong's
took a break and fell 130.95 to close at 17,595.22. Property shares, which had been on the rise over the past week, led the decline, with
Sun Hung Kai Properties
shedding HK$1.00, or 1.3%, to 78.75 ($10.10), while
fell 1.00, or 1.0%, to 104.50.
Investors instead switched into telecom shares like
, which rose 0.75, or 1.2%, to 62.50, while
jumped 0.85, or 5.3%, to 16.85.
Elsewhere in Asia, Korea's
index fell 2.06 to close at 679.24, while Taiwan's
index shed 17.40 to end trade at 7785.62.