Tokyo stocks lost further ground Friday, with sentiment dampened by heightened fears over a coronavirus resurgence overseas.
The 225-issue Nikkei average of the Tokyo Stock Exchange lost 96.60 points, or 0.41%, to close at 23,410.63 after two days of decline.
The Topix index of all TSE first section issues finished down 14.10 points, or 0.86%, at 1,617.69, extending its losing streak to a third day.
The market got off to a weaker start after all three major U.S. market yardsticks, including the Dow Jones Industrial Average, dropped for the third consecutive day Thursday amid rekindled concerns over a pandemic-caused global economic slowdown.
After the initial plunge, the Nikkei average gradually recouped losses to return to the sunny side toward noon, thanks to active buying of Fast Retailing Co., a major component stock, in response to the Uniqlo apparel chain operator’s release Thursday of rosy earnings projections for the current business year ending August 2021, brokers said.
But the benchmark index sank into negative territory in the afternoon, weighed down by position-squaring selling and profit-taking.
The broader Topix index remained under pressure for the entire session.
Referring to moves in European countries to restrict travel and business activities amid sharp increases in coronavirus cases again, Chihiro Ota, general manager for investment research and investor services at SMBC Nikko Securities Inc., said, “The effects (of the pandemic resurgence) are gradually spreading to the Tokyo market.”
“Media reports about worsening financial standings of many firms, such as Seibu Holdings’ capital increase request for creditor banks, have dampened buying sentiment,” said Masayuki Otani, chief market analyst at Securities Japan Inc.
Maki Sawada, vice president of Nomura Securities Co.’s Investment Research & Investor Services Department, pointed out that investors refrained from active trading to wait for earnings reports by major firms, the final U.S. presidential debate and other potentially market-moving evets scheduled for next week.
On the first section, decliners overwhelmed gainers 1,632 to 469 with 77 issues unchanged. Volume rose to 917 million shares from Thursday’s 888 million shares.
Park24 Co. tumbled 5.49% due to a slow recovery in overseas operations of the pay parking lots operator.
Stocks in the transport sector, such as Kintetsu Group Holdings Co. and Tokyu Corp., were battered by the coronavirus resurgence.
Other losers included real estate developer Hulic Co. and Chugai Pharmaceutical Co.
Meanwhile, Fast Retailing soared 4.27%.
BayCurrent Consulting Inc. shot up 11.38% after posting a year-on-year net profit increase of almost 90% for March-August.
In index futures trading on the Osaka Exchange, the key December contract on the Nikkei average slid 90 points to end at 23,410.
In a time of both misinformation and too much information, quality journalism is more crucial than ever.
By subscribing, you can help us get the story right.