November 13, 2018 / 6:31 AM / in a month

Nikkei dragged down by weaker Wall St; tech shares hit

* Nikkei down 3.21 pct, touches a 2-week low

* Tech shares slip after Apple’s slide hurts U.S. counterparts

By Shinichi Saoshiro

TOKYO, Nov 13 (Reuters) - Japanese stocks touched a two-week low on Tuesday, with technology firms coming under heavy selling pressure after shares of Apple Inc tumbled.

The Nikkei, however, pared its losses by the close and was off a session low of 21,484.65 - its weakest since Oct. 30 - on reports China and the United States have resumed high levels talks. The benchmark ended the day down 2.06 percent at 21,810.52.

Weighing on the tech-heavy Nasdaq, Apple shares fell 5.0 percent on Monday after several suppliers to the company, including Lumentum Holdings Inc, cut their forecasts.

In turn, Apple-linked shares in Tokyo retreated. Japan Display Inc sank 9.5 percent, Murata Manufacturing Co lost 4.7 percent, Minebea Mitsumi slid 3.1 percent and TDK Corp lost 6.2 percent.

Other technology shares also fell in the wake of the overnight U.S. retreat, with Tokyo Electron falling 1.8 percent, Screen Holdings shedding 5.5 percent and Advantest Corp losing 3.2 percent. Sony Corp was down 2.6 percent.

“There were two bearish factors that weighed down today, first was the drop by Apple and second was the weak machine tool orders data. Electronic stocks and machinery makers therefore suffered,” said Takashi Hiroki, chief strategist at Monex Securities.

Orders for the country’s machine tools fell in October for the first time since November 2016, according to data released by the Japan Machine Tool Builders Association on Monday.

Robot maker Fanuc Corp lost 4.2 percent and electric tool manufacturers Makita Corp and Jtekt Corp shed 5.7 percent and 3.7 percent, respectively. The electric machinery subindex dropped 2.6 percent.

Automakers sagged following news that the U.S. Commerce Department submitted draft recommendations to the White House on its investigation into whether to impose tariffs of up to 25 percent on imported cars and parts on national security grounds.

Toyota Motor Corp lost 2.4 percent, Nissan Motor Co dropped nearly 2 percent and Honda Motor was down 2.1 percent.

Toshiba Corp bucked Monday’s trend and rose 4.1 percent after announcing that it would repurchase up to 192.6 million shares, or 30 percent of its outstanding stock.

All of Tokyo’s 33 subindexes were in the red.

The broader Topix was down 2 percent at 1,638.45.

“A fair number of factors are weighing on the market currently, such as seeming weakness in some U.S. tech giants and lingering worries about the Chinese economy,” said Yoshinori Shigemi, global market strategist at JPMorgan Asset Management. (Editing by Shri Navaratnam)

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