Mon, 26 Oct 2020

TOKYO, Sept. 23 (Xinhua) -- Tokyo stocks ended marginally lower Wednesday on renewed concerns over the resurgence of the global coronavirus pandemic in Europe and the impact new restrictions may have on the pace of global economic recovery.

The 225-issue Nikkei Stock Average shed 13.81 points, or 0.06 percent, from Friday to close the day at 23,346.49.

The broader Topix index of all First Section issues on the Tokyo Stock Exchange, meanwhile, lost 2.17 points, or 0.13 percent, to finish at 1,644.25.

Despite an uptick on Wall Street overnight, investor sentiment has been somewhat risk averse owing to concerns over COVID-19 resurgences in some major European economies and restrictions imposed that might once again stifle economic activities, brokers here said.

One such case is Britain, which not long after easing COVID-related restrictions and encouraging people to return to work and actively support the hospitality industry, has again tightened social restrictions to curb sharp rises in COVID-19 cases, they highlighted.

In addition, concerns have been mounting about a delay in the U.S. stimulus to help underpin the world's largest economy that has been particularly hard hit by the global pandemic, market strategists said.

"Concerns were revived over a global economic recovery, triggered by a coronavirus resurgence in European countries as well as uncertainty over U.S. stimulus measures," Maki Sawada, vice president of the investment research and investor services department at Nomura Securities Co., was quoted as saying.

The market's losses however also prompted some dip buying in later trade, local broker said, helping to trim overall losses.

By the close of play, mining, iron and steel, and nonferrous metal issues comprised those that declined the most.

Energy and metal makers weighed heavily on the market, however, owing to concerns over the murky outlook for the global economy and slumping demand.

As such, Sumitomo Metal Mining lost 1.2 percent, while Mitsui Mining and Smelting dropped 1.9 percent. Kobe Steel, for its part, ended the day 2.4 percent lower.

Japan Petroleum Exploration, meanwhile, sank 4.9 percent by the close.

Issues related to people staying at home during the pandemic found traction, with operator of apparel e-commerce site ZoZo climbing 4.8 percent, while game maker Bandai Namco Holdings jumped 3.4 percent.

Fujifilm Holdings was a notable winner jumping 4.9 percent, after announcing it will soon seek regulatory approval for using its antivirus drug Avigan to treat coronavirus patients as late-stage clinical tests have shown its effectiveness in treating the virus' symptoms.

Issues that fell outpaced those that rose by 1,367 to 732 on the First Section, while 77 ended the day unchanged.

On the main section on Wednesday, 1.519 billion shares changed hands, rising from Friday's volume of 1.499 billion shares.

The turnover on the first trading day of the week came to 2.763 trillion yen (26.322 billion U.S. dollars).

Markets here were closed on Monday and Tuesday for national holidays.

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