• Jiji


Tokyo stocks lost further ground Wednesday amid unabated fears over a resurgence in novel coronavirus infections.

The 225-issue Nikkei average fell 176.04 points, or 0.78 percent, to end at 22,438.65. On Tuesday, the key market gauge lost 99.75 points.

The Topix index of all Tokyo Stock Exchange first-section issues finished down 14.48 points, or 0.92 percent, at 1,557.23, after sagging 5.44 points the previous day.

The Tokyo market opened lower in the wake of Wall Street falling back out of concerns that a coronavirus resurgence would prevent the U.S. economy’s early recovery, brokers said.

Brisk performances of Chinese and other Asian stocks helped the market return to positive territory around midmorning.

But the buoyancy diminished in the afternoon, as what was believed to be selling to gain cash to pay dividends to investors in stock index-linked exchange-traded funds gathered steam on the first of the two record dates this week, brokers said.

Although the market extended its losing streak, “investors’ ‘buy the dip’ appetite remained strong,” said Hirohumi Yamamoto, strategist at Toyo Securities Co.

But Yamamoto also noted that nonresidents may keep shunning Tokyo stocks at least until Friday unless powerful buying incentives come out.

As long as not only the Japanese but global economy shows no sign of full-fledged recovery, “the Nikkei can hardly retake its pre-coronavirus levels above 24,000,” another brokerage official said.

On the TSE’s first section, falling issues outnumbered rising ones 1,686 to 420, while 65 issues were unchanged. Volume increased to 1.155 billion shares from Tuesday’s 1.093 billion shares.

Financials including mega-bank group Mitsubishi UFJ and insurer Dai-ichi Life were pulled down by lower U.S. long-term interest rates.

Chipmaking gear manufacturer Tokyo Electron, wafer producer Shin-Etsu Chemical and other issues in the semiconductor sector bled on their U.S. peers’ downturn Tuesday.

Among other losers were technology investor SoftBank Group and clothing store chain Fast Retailing.

On the other hand, electronics firm NEC extended its winning streak to a fifth session.

Mobile phone carrier KDDI and air conditioner-maker Daikin were also upbeat.

In index futures trading on the Osaka Exchange, the key September contract on the Nikkei average fell 170 points to end at 22,370.

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