October 19, 2018 / 6:23 AM / 25 days ago

Nikkei ends down on cocktail of negative factors, marks 3rd week of losses

* Nikkei hits six-week intra-day low

* Nikkei has fallen 7.8 pct from this month’s 27-year peak

* All but three of Topix’s 33 subsectors trade in the red

By Daniel Leussink

TOKYO, Oct 19 (Reuters) - Japan’s Nikkei ended the week on a sour note on Friday, booking its third straight week of decline after tracking broader overnight losses on Wall Street and Europe.

The Nikkei share average at one stage dropped almost 2 percent to hit a six-week low of 22,212.57. By the closing bell, it was down 0.56 percent at 22,532.08.

The benchmark index has given up around 7.8 percent since its 27-year peak hit on Oct. 2, as worries over Italy’s budget, higher U.S. interest rates and growth concerns in China weigh on market sentiment globally. Investors also await November congressional elections in the United States.

“The recent price action in Japanese equities suggests the domestic market is quite sensitive to what’s happening in the U.S.,” said Shusuke Yamada, currency and equity strategist at Bank of America Merrill Lynch.

“In general, there is a certain degree of uncertainty from external risks,” he said.

While all but three of the Topix’s 33 subsectors closed in the red, machinery-related stocks underperformed.

Shares of construction equipment maker Komatsu sank 3.1 percent, Kubota Corp lost 1.1 percent and Nabtesco Corp slipped 2.3 percent. Factory automation equipment maker Keyence Corp dropped 0.9 percent.

Index-heavyweights such as SoftBank Corp and Nintendo declined, falling 1.2 percent and 4.0 percent, respectively.

“From late this month, the corporate earnings season will start. I think it will be a cue for investors to selectively buy back some shares,” said Masahiro Ichikawa, senior strategist at Sumitomo Mitsui Asset Management.

Exporters fell after the yen strengthened overnight towards a one-month peak versus the dollar reached on Monday.

Sony Corp lost 1.2 percent and Panasonic Corp gave up 0.9 percent.

“There is a rotation into domestic and somewhat defensive names recently,” Yamada said.

“This year, we’ve seen exporters weaker, and especially those exposed to China, so the machinery sector has been weaker,” he said.

Car makers also fell but losses were somewhat limited by a media report on Thursday that Japan is considering a temporary tax break for car purchases next year.

Toyota Motor Corp dipped 1.0 percent, Nissan Motor Co was down half a percent and Honda Motor Co lost 0.9 percent.

The broader Topix finished 0.69 percent lower at 1,692.85.

Editing by Sam Holmes & Shri Navaratnam

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