Tokyo shares end lower as rising virus cases cloud recovery hopes

  • Reuters
  • Stock Market News
Tokyo shares end lower as rising virus cases cloud recovery hopes
Credit: © Reuters.

TOKYO, June 18 (Reuters) - Japanese shares closed lower on Thursday as increasing cases of the novel coronavirus across the United States and China raised concerns about a swift recovery in the global economy.

The benchmark Nikkei average .N225 fell 0.45% to 22,355.46, with 58 advancers against 161 decliners.

While Beijing extended movement curbs to contain the spread of COVID-19, the daily count of infections hit a new high in California and Texas and Florida recorded its second-highest daily increase. U.S. infections also pushed the benchmark S&P index .SPX 0.3% lower on Wednesday.

The broader Topix .TOPX fell by 0.25% to 1,583.09, with 24 of the 33 sector sub-indexes on the Tokyo exchange posting declines.

The turnover on the main board was 2.009 trillion yen ($18.79 billion), the lowest in almost a month and more than 10% below the average over the past year.

The yen also firmed against the dollar, with the dollar trading at 106.87 yen JPY= , down 0.12% during the session, hurting the earnings outlook for exporters.

Highly cyclical airline, oil and coal products as well as iron and steel led declines on the main bourse.

Airlines .IAIRL.T , one of the sectors hardest hit by the pandemic, ended down 1.70%, while oil and coal products .IPETE.T fell 1.22%.

Iron and steel .ISTEL.T shares fell 0.79% after U.S. Steel X.N slumped 10% on Wednesday following its weak earnings outlook for the current quarter. manufacturer NTN Corp 6472.T slipped 5.04% as the company forecast a net loss of 43.9 billion yen for the year ending in March.

Bucking the trend, gaming company Nintendo 7974.T rose 2.81% and hit a 12-year high on expectations of strong demand as people stay home during the coronavirus outbreak. ($1 = 106.9000 yen)

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