Nikkei flat as coronavirus resurgence in Europe hits sentiment

  • Reuters
Nikkei flat as coronavirus resurgence in Europe hits sentiment

TOKYO, Oct 16 (Reuters) - Japan's Nikkei share average was nearly flat on Friday as new coronavirus curbs in Europe dimmed hopes of a global economic recovery, although gains in Fast Retailing after it forecast upbeat annual earnings helped to cap losses.

The benchmark Nikkei share average .N225 was little changed at 23,523.37 by the midday break, with 80 advancers on the index against 137 decliners. The broader Topix .TOPX lost 0.28% to 1,627.14.

Both the indexes were set to post weekly losses.

All but ten of the 33 sector sub-indexes on the Tokyo exchange traded lower, with real estate .IRLTY.T , pharmaceuticals .IPHAM.T and land transport .IRAIL.T leading the decline on the main bourse.

The sentiment was weighed down by the introduction of new coronavirus restrictions in Europe, with London entering a tighter lockdown and France imposing night curfews in major cities to curb a jump in COVID-19 cases. investors also remained on the sidelines due to uncertainty over the U.S. stimulus talks, and ahead of the U.S. presidential election and earnings reports from domestic firms. Nikkei, however, was supported by index heavyweight Fast Retailing 9983.T , which jumped more than 4.4% after the retailer forecast a stronger-than-expected surge in operating profit this business year. stocks that gained the most among the top 30 core Topix names were Astellas Pharma Inc 4503.T up 1.28%, followed by Hitachi Ltd 6501.T .

The underperformers among the Topix 30 were Sony Corp 6758.T down 2.13%, followed by Takeda Pharmaceutical Co Ltd 4502.T losing 1.90%.

The Mothers Index .MTHR of start-up firms lost 0.64%, on course to snap four consecutive weekly gains.

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