Sun, 16 May 2021

Tokyo stocks close lower on high yen, virus worries

News24
14 Apr 2021, 20:43 GMT+10

  • Tokyo stocks closed lower as worries over a rise in virus infections in Japan weighed on the market.
  • Covid-19 surges across Japan have forced the government to tighten restrictions only weeks after they were lifted.

  • In Osaka, the spike prompted the governor to bar the Olympic torch relay from public roads.

Tokyo stocks closed lower on Wednesday as a higher yen and worries over a rise in virus infections in Japan weighed on the market.

The benchmark Nikkei 225 index closed down 0.44% or 130.62 points at 29 620.99, while the broader Topix index slipped 0.33% or 6.37 points to end at 1 952.18.

Investors are discouraged by reports that "virus infections are expanding" in Osaka in western Japan, in addition to news that US health authorities have recommended pausing the Johnson & Johnson Covid-19 shot over blood clot fears, Mitsuhiro Shibata, senior strategist at Daiwa Securities, said in a commentary.

Covid-19 surges across Japan have forced the government to tighten restrictions only weeks after they were lifted, and the country's inoculation drive is lagging behind some other countries, with less than one percent of the population vaccinated so far.

In Osaka, the spike prompted the governor to bar the Olympic torch relay from public roads. It is instead being carried around a closed course at a park, with spectators kept out.

A second city called Wednesday for the public relay to be scrapped over the virus.

The dollar fetched 108.81 yen in Asian trade, down from 109.06 yen in New York late Tuesday, also weighing on the Tokyo market.

Toshiba jumped 5.76% to 4 869 yen after the company said its president Nobuaki Kurumatani resigned Wednesday as a buyout offer from a private equity fund reportedly stirs turmoil inside the Japanese company.

Other reports said one or possibly two separate funds were considering counter buyout offers for Toshiba.

Among other shares, Hitachi dropped 2.06% to 5 141 yen and airline ANA Holdings was off 1.11% at 2 398 yen while chip-testing equipment maker Advantest gained 1.32% to close at 10 770.

Source: News24

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