Tokyo’s Nikkei closes down nearly 2%


Tokyo | AFP

Tokyo’s benchmark Nikkei index closed down nearly two percent Tuesday, weighed down by falls on Wall Street and concerns about rising virus cases in Japan.

The Nikkei 225 index fell 1.97 percent, or 584.99 points, to 29,100.38, while the broader Topix index slipped 1.55 percent, or 30.31 points, to 1,926.25.

The key index opened lower on profit-taking following a three-day winning streak, with investors disheartened by falls in US shares, brokers said.

“Selling then spread nearly across the board on concerns over another virus state of emergency,” said Daiwa Securities chief technical analyst Eiji Kinouchi.

Osaka region is expected to officially request a state of emergency later today, with other regions including Tokyo weighing following suit.

The new measures could involve tougher restrictions including asking shops, restaurants and theme parks to close, local media has reported.

“Trading is expected to remain cautious for now,” Kinouchi told AFP.

The dollar fetched 108.28 yen in Asian afternoon trade, against 108.15 yen in New York and 108.50 yen in Tokyo late Monday.

In Tokyo, Toyota lost 1.22 percent to 8,418 yen after a report the Japanese carmaker sees “cloudier” chip supply later this year.

“April and May are fine. It gets a little cloudier when we move into June, July -- into the summer months,” Bob Carter, Toyota’s top sales executive in the US, said in a Bloomberg TV interview from the Shanghai auto show.

SoftBank Group slumped 1.83 percent to 9,821 yen after the UK government reportedly said it will look into the national security implications of US graphic chips maker Nvidia’s purchase of British chip designer Arm Holdings.

The conglomerate acquired Arm in 2016 and said last year it was selling the company to Nvidia for up to $40 billion. Arm produces microprocessors used in many smartphones.

Subaru dropped 2.83 percent to 2,089.5 yen after a news report said the carmaker plans to temporarily suspend production in the US due to chip shortages.


© Agence France-Presse