Tokyo’s Nikkei closes down more than 2%


Tokyo | AFP

Tokyo’s benchmark Nikkei index closed down more than two percent on Wednesday, tracking falls on Wall Street, with investors disheartened by rising coronavirus cases in Europe.

The Nikkei 225 index lost 2.04 percent, or 590.40 points, to end at 28,405.52, falling for a fourth straight session.

The broader Topix index slipped 2.18 percent, or 42.90 points, to 1,928.58.

Japanese shares opened lower after Wall Street indices closed in the red with trader enthusiasm for a recovering economy overtaken by fears of a resurgence in Covid-19 infections.

“Concerns over the pandemic grew again in Europe, which pressured the market today,” said Shinichi Yamamoto, a broker at Okasan Securities in Tokyo.

Germany said it would reimpose strict virus containment measures as it struggles, along with other EU nations, to roll out vaccines.

“But the recent declines are still seen as part of an adjustment following a surge since late last year,” Yamamoto said.

The dollar fetched 108.50 yen in Asian afternoon trade, against 108.62 yen in New York late Tuesday.

In Tokyo, automakers remained under selling pressure after chip maker Renesas Electronics said a fire at a major domestic plant would impact stable chip supply to customer companies, led by automakers.

“Players continued taking the news negatively,” Yamamoto said.

Nissan plunged 4.01 percent to 581.1 yen and Toyota lost 2.21 percent to 8,120 yen, with Honda down 1.60 percent at 3,246 yen, while Renesas dropped 3.34 percent to 1,156 yen.

Isuzu Motors jumped 5.42 percent to 1,186 yen after it would hold a news conference with Toyota. Following the closing bell, the two firms announced a capital alliance, reviving their partnership.