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Markets

Tokyo stocks open lower with eyes on virus cases

  • The benchmark Nikkei 225 index was down 0.08 percent, or 20.89 points, at 27,260.28 in early trade, while the broader Topix index lost 0.09 percent, or 1.80 points, to 1,895.39
Published August 20, 2021
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TOKYO: Tokyo stocks opened lower on Friday in cautious trade after Wall Street shares closed flat with investors eyeing increasing virus cases.

The benchmark Nikkei 225 index was down 0.08 percent, or 20.89 points, at 27,260.28 in early trade, while the broader Topix index lost 0.09 percent, or 1.80 points, to 1,895.39.

"Japanese shares are seen moving in a narrow range as a mixed close in US markets failed to give fresh clues for trade," senior market analyst Toshiyuki Kanayama of Monex said in a note.

"Even though 'the Toyota shock' didn't hurt the US market much, there remain worries over the impact of the rising cases in Asia on semiconductor-linked industries," Okasan Online Securities added.

Toyota said Thursday it will cut global auto production by 40 percent in September as the spread of coronavirus in Southeast Asia squeezes its supply chain.

Shares in the auto giant traded down 0.90 percent at 9,211 yen, recovering from a drop of 4.42 percent when the news first emerged on Thursday.

Toyota's smaller rival Honda was off 1.83 percent at 3,323 yen and Nissan was down 1.20 percent at 558.9 yen.

Chip-testing equipment manufacturer Advantest was up 1.35 percent at 9,000 yen and chip-making equipment manufacturer Tokyo Electron was 1.73 percent higher at 43,560 yen.

Among others, Panasonic was down 0.88 percent at 1,240 yen, Canon was off 0.27 percent at 2,542 yen and shipping firm Mitsui O.S.K. Lines was down 1.28 percent at 6,940 yen.

The dollar fetched 109.61 yen in early Asian trade, against 109.72 yen in New York late Thursday.

Japan's core consumer price index that excludes fresh food was down 0.2 percent on-year in July, the 12th consecutive monthly decline but with the pace of decline smaller than a 0.5 percent fall in June, according to data released by the internal affairs ministry.

The latest data released 30 minutes before the opening bell did not prompt strong market reactions.

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