Chipmakers, shippers drive Japanese shares to end lower

TOKYO, Sept 28 (Reuters) - Japanese shares ended lower on Tuesday, as heavy losses in chipmakers and shippers eclipsed investor hopes for a steady economic growth momentum under a new political leadership in the run-up to a ruling party election.

The Nikkei share average dipped 0.19% to close at 30,183.96, after falling as much as 0.78% earlier in the session. The broader Topix edged down 0.29% to 2,081.77.

“Losses eased because investors have realized Japan is a preferred market globally right now,” Shigetoshi Kamada, general manager at the research department at Tachibana Securities said.

“China has bigger risks due to Evergrande’s debt issues, and the U.S. economy might have peaked out. Outlook of Germany’s politics is not clear.”

The Nikkei gained more than 7% so far this month in the run-up to the Liberal Democratic Party’s leadership election, which will effectively choose the new prime minister.

Irrespective of who becomes the prime minister, investors are now confident that Japan’s political base will be stable under the current coalition, Kamada added.

Japan’s economic growth could accelerate as the country is set to lift a coronavirus state of emergency in all regions on Thursday amid a drop in COVID-19 infections.

Chip heavyweights Advantest lost 3.57%, Tokyo Electron slipped 1.05% and Shin-Etsu Chemical lost 1.47%.

Shippers led the decline among the Tokyo Stock Exchange’s 33 sub-indexes with a drop of 8.61%.

Kawasaki Kisen Kaisha tumbled 14.45%, making it the biggest percentage loser on the Nikkei, followed by Nippon Yusen losing 8.18%, and Mitsui OSK Lines down 7.04%.

Oil explorers climbed the most with Inpex gaining 4.2% and Japan Petroleum Exploration rising 1.33%. (Reporting by Junko Fujita; Editing by Subhranshu Sahu and Sherry Jacob-Phillips)