Headline indices of the Japan share market were lower on Tuesday, 25 June 2019, as investors risk sentiments were dampened ahead of an expected meeting between U.S. President Donald Trump and Chinese President Xi Jinping at the upcoming G-20 summit in Japan. Meanwhile, most of market participants adopted a wait-and-see mood on geopolitical tensions after the U.S. on Monday imposed sanctions on Iran over the latter's shooting down of an unmanned American drone last week. Around late afternoon, the 225-issue Nikkei Stock Average declined 0.53%, or 112.28 points, to 21,173.71, while the broader Topix index of all First Section issues on the Tokyo Stock Exchange fell 0.3%, or 4.69 points, at 1,543.05.
Total 22 subsectors out of 33 subsectors of the Topix's index declined, with Mining, Securities & Commodities Futures, Oil & Coal Products, Electric Power & Gas, and Construction issues being notable losers, while Pulp & Paper, Warehousing & Harbor Transportation Services, Land Transportation, and Nonferrous Metals issues were notable gainers.
The main event this week (Fri-Sat) is the G20 meeting in Japan and in particular the potential meeting between Presidents Donald Trump and Xi Jinping on the sidelines. The two leaders are expected to discuss the protracted trade fight between their two countries. China and the U.S. have already slapped tariffs on billions of dollars worth of each other's goods over the past year. In May, the two economic powerhouses hiked tariffs targeting some goods. The Trump administration has said previously that Trump is ready to raise tariffs on all Chinese imports into the U.S. if the two countries fail to arrive at a deal.
China's Ministry of Commerce said in a statement on Tuesday that the country's Vice Premier Liu He had a phone call with U.S. Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin and U.S. Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer on Monday. They discussed trade and agreed to maintain communications, according to the statement.
Meanwhile, the U.S. on Monday imposed sanctions on Iran over the latter's shooting down of an unmanned American drone last week. Tensions between the two countries have remained high since a recent attack on oil tankers near the Strait of Hormuz.
ECONOMIC NEWS: Japan Producer Prices Up 0.8% On Year In May -- Japan producer prices were up 0.8% on year in May, the Bank of Japan said on Tuesday, down from the upwardly revised 1.0% gain in April (originally 0.9%). On a monthly basis, producer prices dipped 0.3% after easing 0.1% in the previous month.
CURRENCY NEWS: Japanese yen, often seen as a safe-haven currency, appreciated against greenback on Tuesday, on escalating tension between Iran and United States and on expectation the Federal Reserve may lower its interest rates more than once this year and the next cut will come at its next meeting in July. The dollar was quoted at 107.33-35 yen compared with 107.25-35 yen in New York and 107.41-42 yen in Tokyo Monday.