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Tokyo stocks close down on fresh virus worries

A man wearing a face mask to help curb the spread of the coronavirus looks at an electronic stock board showing Japan's Nikkei 225 index at a securities firm in Tokyo, July. 13, 2020.  (File photo/AP)
A man wearing a face mask to help curb the spread of the coronavirus looks at an electronic stock board showing Japan's Nikkei 225 index at a securities firm in Tokyo, July. 13, 2020. (File photo/AP)
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14 Jul 2020 05:07:48 GMT9
14 Jul 2020 05:07:48 GMT9

Tokyo stocks closed lower Tuesday on profit-taking as sentiment worsened after rallies fizzled on Wall Street due to fresh worries over the coronavirus and renewed US-China tensions.

The benchmark Nikkei 225 index was down 0.87 percent, or 197.73 points, at 22,587.01, while the broader Topix index slipped 0.50 percent, or 7.87 points, to 1,565.15.

Japanese investors were taking money off the table after strong market gains on Monday, with the Nikkei closing up more than 2.2 percent.

The profit-taking came “as investors were concerned about a fresh surge in US coronavirus infections”, said Toshikazu Horiuchi, a broker at IwaiCosmo Securities.

“Infections are also increasing in Tokyo but those in the US, notably California, are in a different category,” Horiuchi told AFP.

On Monday, a rally on Wall Street petered out following more signs of a coronavirus surge in the United States.

“It is hard to attribute a specific trigger for the turn in sentiment that followed in the US afternoon trading session, but it seems that California virus news and US-China tensions were the main culprits,” National Australia Bank said.

US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said Monday that Washington would treat Beijing’s pursuit of resources in the dispute-rife South China Sea as illegal, ramping up support for Southeast Asian nations.

The dollar fetched 107.17 yen in Asian afternoon trade, against 107.24 yen in New York late Monday.

In Tokyo, SoftBank Group dropped 1.36 percent to 6,443 yen after a report the firm was exploring a full or partial sale or public offering of its chip designing unit Arm.

Among other losers, Sony plunged 1.97 percent to 7,940 yen and Uniqlo casual wear operator Fast Retailing was off 2.11 percent at 59,360 yen.

AFP

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