BUSINESS Tokyo stocks close lower on concerns over new virus lockdowns in Europe


Tokyo stocks close lower on concerns over new virus lockdowns in Europe


19:37, October 29, 2020

File photo: VCG

TOKYO, Oct. 29 (Xinhua) -- Tokyo stocks closed lower Thursday amid concerns over the pace of the global economic recovery from the pandemic after France and Germany said they will issue partial lockdowns in the face of rising COVID-19 cases.

The 225-issue Nikkei Stock Average lost 86.57 points, or 0.37 percent, from Wednesday to close the day at 23,331.94.

The broader Topix index of all First Section issues on the Tokyo Stock Exchange, meanwhile, shed 1.62 points, or 0.10 percent, to finish at 1,610.93.

Trading got off to a lackluster start following a weak lead from Wall Street overnight and caution ahead of the European Central Bank's monetary policy meeting and the release of the U.S. July-September gross domestic product data later in the day, local brokers said.

They added, however, that losses were trimmed in later trade on solid earnings from some Japanese firms.

That said, the market mood, overall was downbeat owing to a resurgence of COVID-19 cases in some European countries and the United States, market strategists here said.

Investors are concerned that partial lockdown plans for France and Germany will hamper the pace of the global economic recovery from the pandemic, with concerns also rife about targeted lockdowns and restrictions being introduced in the United Kingdom.

"The resurgent infections sparked concerns that Japanese exports to the United States and Europe may slow down. But the market was supported by signs of recovery at some companies," Kazuo Kamitani, senior associate at the investment research and investor services department of Nomura Securities Co., was quoted as saying.

Brokers here also said that some investors were reluctant to assume bold positions ahead of the U.S. presidential election on Nov. 3.

By the close of play, securities house, land transportation and electric power and gas-oriented issues comprised those that declined the most.

Among transportation issues losing ground on pandemic-hit earnings, Central Japan Railway and East Japan Railway both dropped 2.4 percent, while Keisei Electric Railway closed 1.0 percent lower.

Companies reporting upbeat earnings found favor, including Hitachi, which climbed 4.3 percent after upgrading its profit guidance for fiscal 2020 on increasing demand for infrastructure projects in China.

Sony, meanwhile, jumped 6.7 percent, after the consumer electronics giant raised its profit estimate for the year through next March owing to its games sector's robust performance.

Issues that fell outpaced those that rose by 1,330 to 747 on the First Section, while 100 ended the day unchanged.

On the main section on Thursday, 1,012.37 million shares changed hands, dropping from Wednesday's volume of 1,183.05 million shares.

The turnover on the penultimate trading day of the week came to 2.095 trillion yen (20.132 billion U.S. dollars).

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