Tokyo stocks continued falling Thursday, with investors increasingly wary about an envisaged state of emergency over the new coronavirus in Tokyo, which is seen causing the economy to slow down.
The 225-issue Nikkei average of the Tokyo Stock Exchange gave up 248.92 points, or 0.88%, to close at 28,118.03, after shedding 276.26 points Wednesday.
The Topix index of all TSE first section issues ended down 17.36 points, or 0.90%, at 1,920.32, following a 16.82-point fall the previous day.
The market got off to a weak start on news that the government plans to issue a coronavirus state of emergency in Tokyo for the fourth time and extend the pre-emergency designation for three prefectures surrounding the capital, as well as for the prefecture of Osaka.
Coronavirus-sensitive names, such as retailers and airlines, met with hefty selling amid worries over tighter operational constraints linked to the epidemic.
Selling pressure grew in the afternoon reflecting falls in Chinese and other Asian stocks, and weaker U.S. stock index futures in off-hours trading.
The market was also weighted down by selling apparently aimed at securing resources for paying dividends to exchange-traded fund investors, brokers said.
The government’s plan to put Tokyo under the new state of emergency is surprising as “many market players had been anticipating an extension of the capital’s pre-emergency status,” said Masahiro Ichikawa, chief market strategist at Sumitomo Mitsui DS Asset Management Co.
“Some investors bought economically sensitive cyclicals, such as machinery makers and insurance firms, taking heart from rises in all three major U.S. stock gauges on Wednesday,” Maki Sawada, strategist at Nomura Securities Co., said, noting that the market was not completely bearish.
On the TSE first section, decliners overwhelmed gainers 1,849 to 276 while 67 issues were unchanged. Volume increased to 1.144 billion shares from Wednesday’s 1.066 billion shares.
Pub chain operator Torikizoku lost 3.76% on selling stemming from a sharp fall in same-store sales in June, announced by the company Wednesday, and concerns over the planned declaration of the virus emergency.
Other restaurant chains also came under selling pressure, with Kushikatsu Tanaka falling 4.75% and Kura Sushi 3.23%.
Airlines JAL and ANA dropped 2.70% and 1.91%, respectively.
Chipmaking gear manufacturer Tokyo Electron and clothing store operator Fast Retailing, both heavyweight components of the Nikkei average, were also downbeat.
By contrast, air conditioner-maker Daikin jumped 3.66% on a media report that the company has developed an energy-efficient refrigerant for air conditioners for electric vehicles.
Among other winners were mobile phone carrier KDDI and cybermall operator Rakuten.
In index futures trading on the Osaka Exchange, the key September contract on the Nikkei average fell 230 points to 28,150.
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.