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Markets

Nikkei slips on worries over Brexit, US stimulus

  • However, Toyota Motor rose 4.4% as investors welcomed the revamp of its Mirai hydrogen fuel cell car, at a time when the government has stepped up measures to cut carbon emissions.
Published December 11, 2020

TOKYO: Japanese shares slipped on Friday as uncertainties over Brexit, US stimulus and worries over surging COVID-19 cases at home sapped risk appetite.

The benchmark Nikkei share average lost 0.54% to 26,612.74 by midday, on course to post its first weekly loss in six. The broader Topix was down 0.07% at 1,775.01.

Tokyo reported a record number of new infections on Thursday and local media reported the government may stop travel subsidies meant to boost regional economies.

British Prime Minister Boris Johnson said on Thursday there was "a strong possibility" Britain and the European Union would fail to strike a trade deal.

"With the Brexit deadline on Sunday, the market is curbed by the uncertainties from it," said Takeo Kamai, head of execution services at investment firm CLSA.

Near-term US fiscal stimulus appears unlikely after Democrat House Speaker Nancy Pelosi suggested wrangling over a spending package and coronavirus aid could drag on through Christmas.

Nikkei heavyweight SoftBank Group dropped 4.3% after two days of massive gains that stemmed from a report of a possible buyback of shares and the successful initial public offering of DoorDash.

However, Toyota Motor rose 4.4% as investors welcomed the revamp of its Mirai hydrogen fuel cell car, at a time when the government has stepped up measures to cut carbon emissions.

Toyota's gains helped the transport equipment maker index add 1.8% to become the best-performing sector.

Nintendo gained 2.4% as rising COVID-19 infections rekindled interest in shares that tend to benefit from tougher social restrictions.

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