May 1, 2020 / 4:08 AM / 25 days ago

Tokyo shares track Wall Street losses; chip-related stocks under pressure

SYDNEY, May 1 (Reuters) - Japanese shares retreated on Friday from a near eight-week peak hit in the previous session, tracking Wall Street’s overnight losses on profit-taking, with chipmaking-related companies dropping the most.

The benchmark Nikkei average fell 2.3% to 19,730.41 by the midday break, erasing most of Thursday’s 2.6% gain, as it also took cues from weaker U.S. stock futures. E-Mini futures for the S&P 500 last traded down 1.3%.

The Nikkei, however, was up 2.4% for the week, set for its first weekly gain in two. The index climbed 6.7% in April, its best month since October 2017.

Wall Street lost ground on Thursday as dismal economic data and mixed corporate earnings prompted investors to lock in profits, with all three major U.S. indexes finishing lower.

In Tokyo, shares of semiconductor-related stocks mirrored losses in their U.S. peers, after the Philadelphia semiconductor index lost 3.7% overnight.

Chip-making gear manufacturers Tokyo Electron Ltd and Screen Holdings Co Ltd slid 4.8% and 4.4%, respectively, while test device maker Advantest Corp dropped 4.0%.

The broader Topix shed 2.0% to 1,434.80 by the midday recess, with all of the 33 sector sub-indexes on the Tokyo exchange trading lower.

Highly cyclical sea transport, iron and steel and insurance were the worst three performing sectors on the main bourse.

Investors were booking some profits ahead of a long holiday weekend, traders said.

Markets in Japan will be closed until Wednesday for the annual Golden Week holidays.

Elsewhere, Z Holdings Corp, formerly known as Yahoo Japan, bucked the broader trend to advance 2.6% after the internet services firm posted an 8.4% increase in operating profit for the year ended March.

Reporting by Tomo Uetake; Editing by Aditya Soni

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