Japanese shares slipped on Wednesday, tracking overnight Wall Street losses, as investors monitored surging coronavirus cases across the world that could derail a nascent global economic recovery.
The benchmark Nikkei share average ended down 0.78% at 22,438.65 after moving in and out of positive territory in early session, with 40 advancers against 177 decliners.
New coronavirus cases continue to climb globally, with the United States surpassing over 3 million confirmed cases across states and Australia’s second-biggest city Melbourne re-imposing lockdown measures on Tuesday.
On the domestic front, capital Tokyo has also seen a rise in cases, but Economy Minister Yasutoshi Nishimura said a new state of emergency for the coronavirus is not needed.
The broader Topix erased early gains and dipped 0.92% to 1,557.23, with all 33 sector sub-indexes on the Tokyo exchange trading in the red. Highly cyclical mining and insurance were among the worst performers on the main bourse, down 2.9% and 1.43%, respectively.
OLED manufacturer Hodogaya Chemical Co Ltd performed strongly, soaring 15.56%, after a media report that Apple Inc will shift to OLED screens for its fifth-generation iPhones this year.
Elsewhere on the market, mall operator Aeon Mall Co Ltd , which had temporarily closed its facilities following the coronavirus outbreak, dropped 6.26%.
The company posted a group net loss of 13.48 billion yen ($125.35 million) for the March-May quarter and projected a 4 billion yen loss for the fiscal year ending February.
Bucking the overall weakness, start-up market index Mothers inched up 0.14%.
($1 = 107.5400 yen)