Tokyo stocks sank deeper Thursday on the heels of a large Wall Street downturn sparked by growing concerns that the coronavirus crisis is coming back.
The Nikkei average of 225 selected issues listed on the first section of the Tokyo Stock Exchange fell 274.53 points, or 1.22 percent, to end at 22,259.79, following a 14.73-point drop on Wednesday.
The Topix index of all first-section issues closed 18.65 points, or 1.18 percent, lower at 1,561.85, after losing 6.64 points the previous day.
The market got off to a weaker start in response to all three major U.S. stock price gauges, including the Dow Jones industrial average, falling back sharply Wednesday.
Sentiment was soured by media reports that New York and two neighboring U.S. states imposed a 14-day quarantine on travelers from states with coronavirus resurgences and that the administration of President Donald Trump is considering new tariffs on European goods, brokers said.
After showing some resilience, stocks headed south again later in the morning in tandem with a drop in Dow Jones futures in off-hours trading. Selling continued to take the upper hand in the afternoon, although the market was underpinned by moves to “buy the dip,” brokers said.
“Investor anxiety over a second wave of novel coronavirus outbreaks was fueled by sharp rises in infection counts in some southern U.S. states, such as Florida and Texas, as well as in Tokyo,” said Maki Sawada, vice president of Nomura Securities Co.’s Investment Research & Investor Services Department.
“With the Chinese markets closed Thursday, trading was largely lackluster due to a dearth of fresh incentives,” she added.
On the TSE’s first section, falling issues overwhelmed rising ones 1,661 to 442 while 64 issues were unchanged. Volume grew to 1.305 billion shares from Wednesday’s 1.169 billion shares.
Airlines JAL and ANA tumbled 4.13 percent and 3.79 percent, respectively, amid growing fears of a second coronavirus wave.
Mega-bank group Mitsubishi UFJ and other financials suffered the fallout from the somber performances of their U.S. peers on Wednesday.
Oil issues including Idemitsu and Inpex were battered by a slump in the crude oil market.
Among other major losers were convenience store chain FamilyMart and automaker Toyota.
Meanwhile, optical equipment maker Olympus shot up 11.15 percent, with investors applauding the company’ decision to pull the plug on its loss-making camera business.
Also bought were parcel delivery group SG Holdings and cloud service provider Kanamic Network.
In index futures trading on the Osaka Exchange, the key September contract on the Nikkei average fell 240 points to end at 22,220.