• Jiji


Tokyo stocks fell further in generally lackluster trading on Friday, amid persistent fears over the spread of the new coronavirus.

The 225-issue Nikkei average of the Tokyo Stock Exchange shed 73.94 points, or 0.32 percent, to end at 22,696.42 after losing 175.14 points Thursday.

The Topix index of all TSE first section issues gave up 5.21 points, or 0.33 percent, to close at 1,573.85, following a 10.45-point fall the previous day.

Despite starting higher, supported by buying on dips for semiconductor-related issues, the Tokyo market fell to the minus side later in the morning, pressured by selling instigated by a fall in U.S. stocks Thursday amid recurring concerns over the coronavirus situation in the world.

Succumbing to profit-taking pressure, the market remained in negative territory in the afternoon amid a dearth of fresh trading incentives.

Investors were also disheartened by Tokyo Gov. Yuriko Koike’s remarks that the number of novel coronavirus infection cases in the capital Friday was expected to be at a level similar to that of the day before, brokers said. Koike revealed later that the daily count stood at a record 293, eclipsing the previous high marked Thursday.

“The market fluctuated in directionless trading (throughout the majority of the day) before April-June earnings releases by Japanese companies later in the month,” Tomoaki Fujii, head of the investment research division at Akatsuki Securities Inc., said.

“Although stock price levels rose this week on the back of expectations for the development of a coronavirus vaccine, hopes for an economic recovery (in Japan) receded due to a spike in virus cases,” an official at a midsized securities firm said.

Falling issues outnumbered rising ones 1,272 to 827 in the TSE’s first section, while 72 issues were unchanged. Volume plunged to 999 million shares from Thursday’s 1.475 billion shares.

Airlines ANA Holdings Inc. and Japan Airlines Co. tumbled 3.64 percent and 2.34 percent, respectively, reflecting the government’s decision to exclude trips to and from Tokyo from its Go To Travel domestic tourism promotion campaign.

Apparel store operator Adastria Co. plummeted 5.67 percent, after announcing that it expects to suffer a group net loss and an operating loss for the year until February 2021.

Among other major losers were clothing store chain Fast Retailing Co. and industrial robot producer Fanuc Corp.

On the other hand, drug store chain operator Cosmos Pharmaceutical Corp. rose 1.03 percent, thanks to Mizuho Securities Co.’s upward revision of its target stock price for the company.

Semiconductor test device maker Advantest Corp. and food producer Meiji Holdings Co. also went up.

In index futures trading on the Osaka Exchange, the key September contract on the Nikkei average fell 90 points to end at 22,670.

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