* 10-year JGB yield drops to lowest level in 5 months
* Toraku ratio shows Japan stocks likely hit bottom
By Ayai Tomisawa
TOKYO, April 19 Japanese stocks edged down in
choppy trade on Wednesday morning as geopolitical tensions
soured investor sentiment, while regional banking stocks
underperformed as Japanese government bond yields fell to
The Nikkei 225 share average dropped 0.2 percent to
18,380.81 in midmorning trade, after briefly flirting in
positive territory earlier.
Regional banks Kita-Nippon Bank and Keiyo Bank
both dropped 1.5 percent after the 10-year JGB yield
hit 0 percent, its lowest level since mid
Escalating tensions between the United States and North
Korea also kept investors nervous, while eyes were also on
Europe where sterling surged after British Prime Minister
Theresa May called an early general election for June 8, seeking
to strengthen her party's majority ahead of Brexit negotiations.
But traders said that the Japanese market is seen hitting
the bottom, and a sell-off seems to have been exhausted for the
"A technical indicator shows that the market is oversold,
and investors will likely shift attention to companies, which
are likely reporting strong earnings," said Yutaka Miura, a
senior technical analyst at Mizuho Securities.
The toraku ratio, or up-down ratio, stood at 72.6 percent as
of Wednesday, moving away from 68 percent hit on Monday, the
lowest since February 2016. A reading below 80 signals market
Japanese companies will report their full-year earnings this
month, and Yaskawa Electric Corp, which is scheduled to
report the results on Thursday, is focused. The stock is up 0.3
Exporters were mixed, with Toyota Motor Corp
falling 1.0 percent, Honda Motor Co shedding 1.1
percent and Panasonic Corp rising 0.4 percent.
Elsewhere, Yamato Holdings shed 3.6 percent after
the parcel delivery services provider cut its full-year earnings
forecast for the year ending March 2018.
The broader Topix was flat at 1,471.44 and the
JPX-Nikkei Index 400 declined 0.1 percent to
(Editing by Sam Holmes)