Tokyo stocks close lower

Economy

Tokyo | AFP

Tokyo stocks closed lower on Friday as investors locked in profits ahead of a series of holidays in Japan.

The benchmark Nikkei 225 index closed down 0.83 percent or 241.34 points at 28,812.63, while the broader Topix index lost 0.57 percent or 10.82 points to 1,898.24.

Investors were closing their positions after a national holiday on Thursday and ahead of an extended weekend that will see the market closed from Monday until Wednesday. Normal trading will resume from Thursday.

“Investors are seen taking to the sidelines amid the Golden Week holidays,” Mizuho Securities said.

Worries over the Olympics were also weighing on the Tokyo market, analysts said.

“There are lingering speculations about the possible cancellation of the Olympics, which make Japanese shares unattractive to buy,” Okasan said.

The Tokyo Games are scheduled to open on July 23, but the capital and other economic hubs in Japan are seeing a fresh surge in coronavirus cases.

Hospitals in the western city of Osaka are struggling to cope with the spike in infections, and Japan’s government has imposed a state of emergency for the city and its surrounding areas, as well as in Tokyo.

Doctors and medical experts are increasingly speaking out against holding the pandemic-postponed Games, while polls have long suggested that the public largely support a cancellation or a delay.

The dollar stood at 108.76 yen against 108.92 yen in New York late Thursday.

The government said Japan’s factory output in March rose 2.2 percent from the previous month.

Among major shares, Sony Group plunged 7.71 percent to 10,900 yen. Chipmaker Murata Manufacturing dropped 3.55 percent to 8,703 yen, and Toyota lost 2.07 percent to 8,127 yen.

But shipping firm Nippon Yusen rallied 5.54 percent to 4,290 yen and its rival Mitsui O.S.K. Lines climbed 5.02 percent to 4,390 yen.

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AFP