Tokyo stocks close lower on Covid-19 worries

Tokyo stocks close lower on Covid-19 worries
The benchmark Nikkei 225 index shed 0.75 per cent, or 166.41 points, to end at 22,121.73 while the broader Topix index fell 1.29 per cent, or 20.16 points, to 1,538.61. — Reuters pic

TOKYO, July 1 ― Tokyo stocks closed lower today amid concerns over the increase in new coronavirus cases in the capital, as Japan’s top government spokesman warned a state of emergency could be re-imposed.

The benchmark Nikkei 225 index shed 0.75 per cent, or 166.41 points, to end at 22,121.73 while the broader Topix index fell 1.29 per cent, or 20.16 points, to 1,538.61.

“Regarding the spread of new coronavirus infections in Tokyo, the Chief Cabinet Secretary said a state of emergency could be re-issued in the worst case scenario,” noted Yoshihiro Ito, chief strategist at Okasan Online Securities.

Tokyo reported 67 new cases today, the highest since May 4 and the daily number of new cases has been hovering around 50 since last week.

Suga said the state of emergency, lifted on May 25, could be re-imposed but only if the number of infections continued to increase despite preventive measures.

In Tokyo, pharmaceuticals and automakers were lower.

Takeda Pharmaceutical dropped 2.15 per cent to ¥3,765 (RM149.85) and Astellas 3.36 per cent to ¥1,739.

Toyota lost 1.56 per cent to ¥6,656 and its rival Honda 2.03 per cent to ¥2,699.5.

SoftBank Group rose 1.85 per cent to ¥5,551 while Uniqlo casual wear operator Fast Retailing dipped 0.30 per cent to ¥61,510.

The dollar fetched ¥107.66 in Asian trade, against ¥107.97 in New York Tuesday afternoon.

Investors largely shrugged off weak business confidence data before the opening bell that showed large companies were the gloomiest about their prospects since the financial crisis in 2009. ― AFP

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