Tokyo stocks close down for fifth straight session

Written by The Frontier Post

TOKYO (AFP/APP): Tokyo stocks closed lower for a fifth consecutive session Tuesday following losses overnight on Wall Street sparked by renewed coronavirus fears, as Japan prepares for the opening of the Olympics.
The benchmark Nikkei 225 index dropped 0.96 percent, or 264.58 points, to 27,388.16, the lowest since early January.
The broader Topix index lost 0.96 percent, or 18.24 points, to 1,888.89.
The Tokyo market’s dip came after global shares dropped as investors fretted about the further spread of the virus and the economic impact of the pandemic.
The Dow lost 2.1 percent, while the Nasdaq gave up 1.1 percent.
“Concerns over another spike in coronavirus infections around the world were behind today’s decline,” Toshikazu Horiuchi, a broker at IwaiCosmo Securities, told AFP.
“Investors now tend to react to negative news sharply, which illustrates the current weak sentiment,” he added.
Tokyo investors are shying away from making major bets this week, ahead of a four-day weekend from Thursday, with the Tokyo Olympics opening on Friday.
Market participants are also starting to voice a wide range of worries about Tokyo shares going forward, including political uncertainty after the Olympics.
After the Tokyo Games, the ruling Liberal Democratic Party will hold a leadership election, with public support for Prime Minister Yoshihide Suga low and still falling.
While there is no clear rival candidate to Suga, the outlook of the leadership race is less certain than before with LDP lawmakers jittery about Suga’s sagging popularity ahead of a national election due later this year.
The dollar stood at 109.47 yen in Asian afternoon trade, compared to 109.46 yen on Monday in New York.
Among major shares, Olympic sponsor Toyota fell 1.31 percent to 9,612 after the automaker said it would not air Olympic-related television ads in the domestic Japanese market, where support for the Games remains low.
Advertising giant Dentsu, which is heavily involved in organising the Tokyo Olympics, dropped 4.20 percent to 3,755 yen.
But Canon soared 9.23 percent to 2,708 yen after the firm revised up their annual forecast.

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