• Jiji


Tokyo stocks extended losses Wednesday, with buying sentiment dampened by a continued sell-off on Wall Street.

The Nikkei average of 225 selected issues on the first section of the Tokyo Stock Exchange fell 99.43 points, or 0.49 percent, to end at 20,267.05. On Tuesday, the key market gauge dropped 24.18 points.

The TOPIX index of all first-section issues closed down 2.03 points, or 0.14 percent, at 1,474.69, after sagging 3.90 points the previous day.

Hefty selling hit stocks at the outset, forcing the Nikkei to give up over 300 points in some 10 minutes after the opening.

Sell orders piled up after the Dow Jones industrial average went further down on the New York Stock Exchange Tuesday, as concerns over the risk of “a second wave” of coronavirus infections were heightened by a leading White House coronavirus task force member’s warning against haste reopening of businesses, brokers said.

Sanction threats by the U.S. government and Congress against China over the coronavirus outbreak have made it uncertain whether the global economy can recover from the virus crisis at an early date, they added.

But market recouped some of its losses later thanks to buying induced by speculation about the Bank of Japan’s purchases of exchange-traded funds.

“After the recent bull run, active buying came to a halt,” Masayuki Otani, chief market analyst at Securities Japan Inc., said. “But some participants continued to hunt bargains.”

Other market sources pointed out that the market was underpinned by buybacks prompted by an upturn in U.S. index futures in off-hours trading and news reports about the Japanese government’s planned lifting Thursday of its virus emergency in many of the country’s 47 prefectures.

On the first section, falling issues outnumbered rising ones 1,103 to 975 while 93 issues were unchanged. Volume increased to 1.31 billion shares from Tuesday’s 1.24 billion shares.

Automaker Toyota, technology firm Hitachi and other export-oriented issues soured due to fears of another round of the virus outbreak in the United States.

Chip-making gear manufacturer Tokyo Electron, test-device maker Advantest and other issues in the semiconductor sector fell after their U.S. peers fared poorly Tuesday.

Clothing store chain Fast Retailing and technology investor SoftBank Group also backed off.

Meanwhile, electronics giant NEC jumped after its earnings for the year that ended in March beat market consensuses.

Furniture retailer Nitori extended its winning streak to a fifth session.

Among other noticeable winners were drug maker Shionogi and industrial robot producer Fanuc.

In index futures trading on the Osaka Exchange, the key June contract on the Nikkei average rose 60 points to end at 20,350.

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