Tokyo stocks fall as gains locked in, Toyota surges on earnings

Tokyo stocks fell Tuesday as investors opted to lock in recent gains, with the downside supported by Toyota Motor rallying on a positive earnings outlook.

The 225-issue Nikkei Stock Average ended down 193.50 points, or 0.53 percent, from Monday at 36,160.66. The broader Topix index finished 17.46 points, or 0.68 percent, lower at 2,539.25.

On the top-tier Prime Market, decliners were led by electric power and gas, mining and bank issues.

The U.S. dollar hovered in the mid-148 yen zone throughout the day after hitting a two-month high of 148.90 yen on Monday in New York.

Shares fell after gaining over the last two trading days, with the electronics and machinery sectors notably losing ground as investors moved to secure profits.

But the market was supported by active buying of Toyota shares, which recouped earlier losses to end the day up 4.8 percent at 3,135 yen after the major automaker lifted its sales and net profit forecast for the year ending March.

The latest outlook, released in line with its earnings announcement for the April-December period, came despite the company cutting its group sales volume following a series of data fraud scandals.

The upbeat forecast "helped ease concerns" about the potential impact of recent scandals on the auto giant, as well as Japan's automobile sector, said Makoto Sengoku, senior equity market analyst at the Tokai Tokyo Research Institute.

© Kyodo News