Tokyo stocks lost modest ground in calm trading Wednesday, weighed down by fears about a fresh round of coronavirus outbreaks.
The 225-issue Nikkei average of the Tokyo Stock Exchange edged down 21.08 points, or 0.07%, to close at 28,791.53, extending its losing streak to three days. On Tuesday, the key market gauge gave up 235.41 points.
The Topix index of all first section issues finished 5.91 points, or 0.30%, lower at 1,943.57, following a 16.19-point fall the previous day.
The market got off to a strong start, after all three major key U.S. market gauges, including the Dow Jones Industrial Average, went up, albeit moderately, on Tuesday.
But investors gradually turned to take profits amid growing worries about another surge in COVID-19 cases caused by the delta variant of the novel coronavirus, originally identified in India, brokers said.
In the afternoon, the market teetered in and out of positive terrain due to a lack of powerful events.
Caution over the delta variant has been spreading among investors, depriving the market of upward momentum, Masahiro Ichikawa, chief market strategist at Sumitomo Mitsui DS Asset Management, pointed out.
Meanwhile, Maki Sawada, strategist at Nomura Securities Co., noted that the market was underpinned by buying of technology-oriented names spurred by the ascent of U.S. tech mammoths including Google and Apple the previous day.
Trading was lackluster ahead of the U.S. Labor Department’s employment report for June, due out Friday, which players are “watching closely as an economic indicator that may provide a clue about the timing of the Federal Reserve’s start of quantitative easing tapering,” Sawada added.
On the TSE first section, decliners outnumbered gainers 1,296 to 786 while 108 issues were flat. Volume dropped to 963 million shares from Tuesday’s 1.034 billion shares.
Lighting equipment-maker Ushio rocketed 13.41% after revising up its earnings estimates for the current year through March 2022.
Drugmaker Chugai gained 2.37% following its application for health ministry approval of a COVID-19 treatment developed by U.S. partner Regeneron Pharmaceuticals Inc.
Buoyant techs included semiconductor-linked TDK and Taiyo Yuden.
Meanwhile, drugmaker Eisai tumbled 5.00% and peer Astellas fell 2.35%.
Mitsubishi Electric dropped 1.26% following media revelation of a train air conditioner inspection scandal.
Construction machinery producer Komatsu and cosmetics maker Shiseido were sold along with some other China-related shares on weak Chinese manufacturing data.
In index futures trading on the Osaka Exchange, the key September contract on the Nikkei average slid 10 points to end at 28,750.
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.