• Jiji


Tokyo stocks bled further on Thursday, weighed down by an overnight fall on Wall Street and persistent concerns over the coronavirus crisis.

The Nikkei average of 225 selected issues listed on the first section of the Tokyo Stock Exchange dropped 100.30 points, or 0.45 percent, to end at 22,355.46. On Wednesday, the key market gauge gave up 126.45 points.

The Topix index of all TSE first-section issues closed down 4.00 points, or 0.25 percent, at 1,583.09, after shedding 6.36 points the previous day.

Discouraged by the U.S. Dow Jones industrial average’s drop on Wednesday that reflected fears of a second potential wave of novel coronavirus infections in the United States, the Tokyo market succumbed to selling pressure from the outset of Thursday’s trading, brokers said.

The market fell deeper into negative territory later in the morning, in tandem with a plunge in Dow Jones futures in off-hours trading.

Both the Nikkei and Topix, while cutting some of their losses early in the afternoon thanks to similar moves by Dow Jones futures and buying on dips, fluctuated tightly on the minus side for the rest of the day.

“The market was enveloped in a cautious mood over the coronavirus as investors were wary of rises in the numbers of coronavirus patients in Beijing, Texas and other parts of the world,” an official at a bank-affiliated securities firm said.

Meanwhile, Masahiro Ichikawa, senior strategist at Sumitomo Mitsui DS Asset Management Co., noted, “As there were very few market-moving incentives during the day’s trading, the Tokyo market moved in response to the movements of Dow Jones futures.”

He added that trading in the afternoon turned inactive as many market players were waiting for fresh news related to the coronavirus.

Falling issues outnumbered rising ones 1,164 to 890 in the TSE’s first section, while 113 issues were unchanged. Volume decreased slightly to 1.111 billion shares from Wednesday’s 1.176 billion shares.

Mega-banking group Mitsubishi UFJ and other financial issues succumbed to selling pressure, following drops of their U.S. peers on Wednesday.

Airlines JAL and ANA fell 2.75 percent and 0.89 percent, respectively, on the back of concerns that travel demand may plunge again amid fears over another wave of coronavirus infections.

Among other major losers were steelmaker JFE Holdings and automaker Suzuki.

On the other hand, Mitsui O.S.K. rose 3.21 percent after the shipping firm revised up its ordinary profit outlook for the year to March 2021.

Also on the positive side were game maker Nintendo and drug maker Chugai.

In index futures trading on the Osaka Exchange, the key September contract on the Nikkei average fell 330 points to end at 22,200.

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