Business / Financial Markets

Tokyo stocks dip to 22,437 as second-wave virus fears persist

Jiji

Tokyo stocks lost moderate ground on Monday, pressured by persistent concerns about a potential second wave of coronavirus infections.

The Nikkei average of 225 selected issues listed on the TSE’s first section gave up 41.52 points, or 0.18 percent, to end at 22,437.27. On Friday, the key market gauge climbed 123.33 points.

The Topix index of all TSE first-section issues closed down 3.71 points, or 0.23 percent, at 1,579.09, after shedding 0.29 point the previous trading day.

The market got off to a weak start in the wake of the third consecutive fall in the U.S. Dow Jones industrial average on Friday.

Investor worries rose over a delay in the U.S. economic recovery as novel coronavirus infections jumped in some states. Apple Inc.’s decision to close again 11 stores in Florida and three other states with infection spikes especially dampened sentiment.

The market took an upturn later in the morning as buybacks gathered steam and Dow futures cut their losses. After moving on the sunny side for most of the afternoon session, however, both the Nikkei and Topix returned to negative terrain on unabated coronavirus worries, brokers said.

“Facing a dearth of fresh trading incentives, investors bought and sold stocks solely in view of Dow futures’ moves,” said Masahiro Ichikawa, senior strategist at Sumitomo Mitsui DS Asset Management Co.

Maki Sawada, vice president of Nomura Securities Co.’s Investment Research & Investor Services Department, pointed out that stocks failed to climb as “participants renewed their worries over the fallout of another coronavirus wave on the U.S. economy.”

But the market was underpinned throughout the day by buying from individual investors, Ichikawa added.

On the TSE’s first section, falling issues outnumbered rising ones 1,150 to 913, while 103 issues were unchanged. Volume plunged to 936 million shares from Friday’s 1.555 billion.

Oil issues, including Inpex and JXTG, were battered by fears that a second coronavirus wave would chill oil demand again.

Sumitomo Forestry dived 3.20 percent due to a negative rating action by Tokai Tokyo Research Institute Co.

Among other major losers were game maker Bandai Namco and travel agency H.I.S.

On the other hand, Shionogi soared 2.16 percent after the drugmaker announced a tie-up with Japanese universities to put a 25-minute method for detecting coronavirus infections into practical use.

Also on the positive side were electronics retailer Nojima and mobile phone carrier KDDI.

In index futures trading on the Osaka Exchange, the key September contract on the Nikkei average shed 190 points to end at 22,320.

Coronavirus banner