Tokyo's Nikkei index closes down on virus worries

Dunya News

The dollar fetched 110.40 yen in Asian trade, against 110.43 yen in New York.

TOKYO (AFP) - Tokyo’s benchmark Nikkei index closed lower on Friday as worries over rising coronavirus cases in Japan weighed on the market.

The Nikkei 225 index slid 0.14 percent, or 37.87 points, to end at 27,977.15, while the broader Topix index was up 0.15 percent, or 2.84 points, at 1,956.39.

“(The Nikkei index) rose following gains of US shares but was weighed down by rapidly expanding Covid-19 infections in Japan,” Okasan Online Securities said.

Although the country has seen a comparatively small Covid-19 outbreak overall, the latest wave driven by the more infectious Delta variant has been pushing daily case numbers to new records.

Tokyo’s virus advisory board on Thursday described the infection situation in the city as “uncontrollable”.

Tokyo and five other regions are currently under a virus state of emergency, which bans bars and restaurants from serving alcohol and asks them to close by 8pm.

Profit-taking following rallies in individual shares on sound earnings are also capping rallies in the Japanese market, analysts said.

The dollar fetched 110.40 yen in Asian trade, against 110.43 yen in New York.

In Tokyo, JFE Holdings surged 9.31 percent to 1,654 yen after it reported a better-than-expected net profit for the first quarter and raised full-year forecasts.

Toshiba dropped 4.37 percent to 4,265 yen after the troubled industrial conglomerate said it will seek shareholder approval for a new chairman this year.

Among other major shares, Toyota edged up 0.05 percent to 9,965 yen while SoftBank Group lost 0.10 percent to 6,647 yen.