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SoftBank whale's Nasdaq splash spooks Japanese retail investors

Tech conglomerate's massive options purchases raise volatility concerns

Slack Technologies is among the companies whose shares fell after reports of SoftBank's massive purchases of call options for U.S. tech stocks.   © Reuters

TOKYO -- The news of billions of dollars of bets on U.S. technology companies by Masayoshi Son's SoftBank Group have shaken up not only the U.S. markets, but also individual Japanese investors who had recently piled into that corner of the market.

When a retail broker at a major securities company recently suggested buying shares in messaging app provider Slack Technologies ahead of its earnings announcement, the customer did the exact opposite by cashing out a foreign-stock mutual fund. "Even when I said it is a chance to buy low, he wouldn't listen," the broker said.

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