BUSINESS Tokyo stocks continue to drop for 3rd day on COVID-19 concerns


Tokyo stocks continue to drop for 3rd day on COVID-19 concerns


17:15, January 11, 2022

TOKYO, Jan. 11 (Xinhua) -- Tokyo stocks dropped on Tuesday for the third straight trading day over concerns that Japan saw a recent surge in COVID-19 infection cases which may hinder economic activity.

People wearing protective masks walk in front of an electronic stock board showing Japan's Nikkei 225 index at a securities firm Tuesday, Jan. 11, 2022, in Tokyo. (Photo: AP)

The 225-issue Nikkei Stock Average finished down 256.08 points, or 0.90 percent, from Friday at 28,222.48. Japanese financial markets were closed Monday for a national holiday.

The broader Topix index of all First Section issues on the Tokyo Stock Exchange ended 8.86 points, or 0.44 percent, lower at 1,986.82.

Declining issues were led by electric appliance, metal product and precision instrument issues.

The benchmark Nikkei remained under pressure and briefly dropped 400 points, after falling nearly 3 percent over the past two trading sessions.

Resurgence of COVID-19 infection cases in Japan have shocked the market, brokers said. Infection cases in the country had shown a clear downtrend following last summer's fifth wave of infections.

Japan's daily confirmed cases on Saturday logged more than 8,400, the highest level in four months, with community spread of the highly transmissible Omicron variant of the COVID-19 reported in large cities including Tokyo and Osaka.

On Sunday, some prefectures were placed under a quasi-state of emergency, which allowed prefectural authorities to step up their anti-coronavirus measures and to request that dining establishments shorten their business hours and stop serving alcohol.

The surge in infections has led to more people refraining from going out, which has been a blow to some businesses including those related to leisure, said Kazuo Kamitani, a strategist in the Investment Content Department of Nomura Securities Co.

Tourism demand is expected to weaken amid worries of the spreading virus, with East Japan Railway going down 1.1 percent and West Japan Railway sliding 0.3 percent.

On the First Section, decliners outnumbered advancers 1,157 to 960, while 68 finished unchanged.

Ryohin Keikaku dropped 4.5 percent, after Muji, the operator of retail brand, released a report on Friday that its first quarter through November saw a nearly 40 percent decline in net profit.

Against the downward trend, Mizuho Financial Group grew 3.1 percent despite yet another system failure at its banking unit in the morning that troubled corporate customers using its online banking services.

Financial issues firmed with investors rather focusing on potentially positive impact on their earnings from recent growths in U.S. long-term interest rates, brokers said. Another Japanese megabank, Sumitomo Mitsui Financial Group, increased 2.5 percent.

Trading volume on the main section dropped to 1,246.77 million shares from Friday's 1,289.05 million shares.

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