Business / Financial Markets

Nikkei manages modest rebound despite resurgent coronavirus concerns

Jiji

Tokyo stocks turned modestly higher in lackluster trading Monday, managing to resist selling that was reflective of persistent coronavirus anxieties.

The Nikkei average of 225 selected issues listed on the first section of the Tokyo Stock Exchange rose 21.06 points, or 0.09 percent, to end at 22,717.48, after giving up 73.94 points on Friday.

The Topix index of all TSE first-section issues closed up 3.18 points, or 0.20 percent, at 1,577.03, following a 5.21-point drop the previous trading day.

The Tokyo market opened higher, as buying of technology stocks was fueled by a rise in the tech-heavy Nasdaq composite index despite a continued drop in the Dow Jones industrial average in the U.S. market Friday.

But stocks saw selling pressure become heavier toward noon amid unabated concerns about the resurgence of the novel coronavirus in and outside Japan. A slide in Dow futures in off-hours trading also contributed to the market’s fall into negative territory.

In the afternoon, the market got support from bullishness in Chinese stocks, though buying was not so active amid a dearth of fresh market-moving news.

“Ahead of Japan’s four-day weekend, activities to lock in profits were observed,” Yutaka Miura, senior technical analyst at Mizuho Securities Co., said. The Tokyo market will be closed on Thursday and Friday for national holidays.

Media reports that Tokyo confirmed 168 new coronavirus cases Monday put a damper on active buying, Miura also pointed out. The daily count came below 200 for the second straight day. “But the level is still high,” he said.

On the TSE’s first section, rising issues outnumbered falling ones 1,320 to 771 while 80 issues were unchanged. Volume fell to 918 million shares from Friday’s 999 million shares.

Chip-making gear manufacturer Tokyo Electron and industrial robot producer Fanuc were among tech stocks that rose along with their U.S. peers.

Electronics giants Fujitsu and NEC jumped 3.96 percent and 2.30 percent, respectively, in response to a news report that the British government asked the Japanese government to help build its fifth-generation, or 5G, ultrahigh-speed wireless communications network.

Other major winners included drugmaker Takeda and mobile phone carrier KDDI.

Meanwhile, Idemitsu and other oil names bled on lower crude oil prices.

Cosmetics maker Shiseido and automaker Honda also went down.

In index futures trading on the Osaka Exchange, the key September contract on the Nikkei average fell 20 points to end at 22,650.

Coronavirus banner