Tokyo stocks opened lower on Monday as major IT investor SoftBank tumbling nearly three percent following a sell-off of US tech highflyers. Market heavyweight SoftBank, which closed at a 17-year high on Friday, fell 2.75 percent to 9,215 yen in early trade. The benchmark Nikkei 225 index dropped 0.57 percent, or 114.84 points, to 19,898.42 in the first few minutes of trade while the Topix index of all first-section issues was down 0.21 percent, or 3.38 points, at 1,588.28.
"Selling is likely to lead the market today as sentiment was dampened by drops in US high-tech shares," Okasan Online Securities said in a commentary. While the Dow climbed to a new record on Wall Street on Friday, the Nasdaq fell nearly two percent after tech giants such as Apple, Amazon and Google Parent Alphabet all lost at least three percent.
Analysts described the market movements as a rotation in which investors were taking profits from highly-valued sectors and putting the funds in areas that have underperformed, such as financials, energy and retailers. In Tokyo, Sony fell 1.67 percent to 4,047 and Sharp lost 1.24 percent to 398 yen.
Toshiba bucked the downtrend in the electronics sector, jumping 4.48 percent to 314.3 yen after news reports that Western Digital of the United States was upping its bid to purchase the struggling Japanese group's prized semiconductor business. Banks rose with Mitsubishi UFJ Financial up 1.78 percent at 747.8 yen and Sumitomo Mitsui up 1.47 percent at 4,330 yen.
In currency markets, the euro held up as French President Emmanuel Macron's party looks set to win an overwhelming majority after Sunday's first round of voting for the National Assembly. The single currency fetched $1.1204 on Monday after $1.1197 in New York Friday afternoon. The dollar was changing hands at 110.32 yen against 110.26 yen in New York Friday afternoon.