Tokyo stocks close lower on COVID-19 resurgence concern

Source: Xinhua| 2020-11-18 18:25:21|Editor: huaxia

TOKYO, Nov. 18 (Xinhua) -- Tokyo stocks closed lower Wednesday, as investors were cautious about a resurgence of COVID-19 infections in Japan and overseas.

The 225-issue Nikkei Stock Average lost 286.48 points, or 1.10 percent, from Tuesday at 25,728.14.

The broader Topix index of all First Section issues on the Tokyo Stock Exchange, meanwhile, ended 14.01 points, or 0.81 percent lower at 1,720.65.

Nonferrous metal, air transportation and marine transportation issues comprised those that decreased the most by the close of play.

The resurgence of COVID-19 outbreak in Japan sparked concern among the market players, leading them to make dealings with caution.

As Tokyo logged a new record of daily COVID-19 infection cases at 493 on Wednesday, metropolitan government is considering raising its virus alert to the highest level, according to local media reports. The previous high was 472 on Aug. 1.

The stock market also took a breather Wednesday after the benchmark Nikkei index gained more than 13 percent earlier in the month.

Profit-taking dominated the market with investors taking a cue from the pandemic situation, Norihiro Fujito, senior investment strategist at Mitsubishi UFJ Morgan Stanley Securities Co., was quoted by local media as saying.

However, many market players forecast that selling pressure in the Tokyo market will not last long, nor will it change the recent upward trend.

"The fall was a healthy correction and it is expected to continue for the next week or two," said Kazuo Kamitani, senior associate in the investment research and investor services department of Nomura Securities Co., in a quote in local media reports.

Air and marine transportation issues were sold after their recent gains. Japan Airlines decreased 1.7 percent, while ANA Holdings lost 3.1 percent.

Kawasaki Kisen fell 1.0 percent and Mitsui O.S.K. Lines dropped 1.6 percent.

Partly because of the yen's firmness, automakers were out of favor during the play of the trading day. Toyota Motor slipped 1.6 percent and Subaru shed 1.1 percent.

On the First Section, declining issues outnumbered rising ones 1,445 to 646, with 85 finishing the day unchanged.

Trading volume on the main section decreased to 1,187.06 million shares compared to Tuesday's 1,373.44 million shares. Enditem