The key 225-issue Nikkei average extended losses Friday, weighed down by profit-taking, novel coronavirus fears and plunges in some heavily weighted component issues.
The Nikkei shed 103.72 points, or 0.39%, to close at 26,652.52, after giving up 61.70 points Thursday.
Meanwhile, the TOPIX index of all first-section issues rose 5.80 points, or 0.33%, to end at 1,782.01, in a turnaround from a 3.21-point fall the previous day.
The market went up in the early morning, attracting buying by investors taking heart from the European Central Bank’s decision to strengthen its quantitative easing.
But selling to lock in profits soon emerged and sent both the Nikkei and Topix indexes into negative terrain.
Selling was boosted by the yen’s appreciation against the dollar and reinforced concerns over the globally spreading coronavirus pandemic, in which daily COVID-19 deaths in the United States hit a record high.
Many stocks turned buoyant in the afternoon thanks to buying the dip, bringing the Topix back into positive territory. Meanwhile, the Nikkei stayed on the minus side, as technology investor SoftBank Group and clothing store chain Fast Retailing, the benchmark index’s heavily weighted components, remained under strong profit-taking pressure.
“Sentiment was also hurt by news reports that the Japanese government may suspend its Go To Travel tourism promotion campaign for two months,” amid surging coronavirus cases in the country, Yutaka Miura, senior technical analyst at Mizuho Securities Co., said.
“But the market was underpinned by unabated hopes for the spread of coronavirus vaccination on the globe,” said Maki Sawada, vice president of Nomura Securities Co.’s Investment Research & Investor Services Department.
On the TSE first section, gainers outnumbered decliners 1,396 to 696 while 88 issues were unchanged. Volume rose to 1.282 billion shares from Thursday’s 1.182 billion shares.
SoftBank Group plunged 4.73% and Fast Retailing 1.30%.
Drugmaker Eisai fell 1.05% on profit-taking triggered by its surge the previous day.
Beverage producer Asahi Group and semiconductor test device manufacturer Advantest also dropped markedly.
On the other hand, Toyota shot up 4.55% to extend its winning streak to a third day, following its launch of the second-generation Mirai fuel cell vehicle in Japan earlier this week.
Pharmacy chain Sugi Holdings jumped 2.44%, after announcing strong same-store sales in November.
In index futures trading on the Osaka Exchange, the key March contract on the Nikkei average lost 110 points to end at 26,520.
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