Roundup: Tokyo stocks close lower on profit-taking amid stimulus deadlock

0 Comment(s)Print E-mail Xinhua, October 15, 2020
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TOKYO, Oct. 15 (Xinhua) -- Tokyo stocks closed lower Thursday as investors opted to secure profits amid concerns over a continued stalemate between Congress and the White House over a U.S. coronavirus stimulus package to help underpin the hard-hit economy.

The 225-issue Nikkei Stock Average dropped 119.50 points, or 0.51 percent, from Wednesday to close the day at 23,507.23.

The broader Topix index of all First Section issues on the Tokyo Stock Exchange, meanwhile, ended the day 12.11 points, or 0.74 percent, lower at 1,631.79.

Trading got off to a negative start with losses extending throughout the day as concerns grew about the health of the virus-hit U.S. economy after U.S. Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin said reaching a compromise with the Democrats on a fiscal stimulus package would be unlikely before the Nov. 3 election, market strategists here said.

Investors opted to lock in gains from issues that had advanced recently, including those reporting solid earnings, they added.

"We believe the momentum underlying the current recovery will slow down gradually," Soichiro Matsumoto, chief investment officer for Japan at Credit Suisse, was quoted as saying.

"The first factor is a potential tightening of restrictions on economic activity due to the second wave of COVID-19 infections. Another factor is increasingly enervated fiscal policy," Matsumoto said.

He was referring in part to Britain introducing a new targeted lockdown system, while France has introduced curfews. Meanwhile, some schools in Europe are being closed as a means to stem the spread of a second wave of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Pharmaceutical, pulp and paper, and food-oriented issues comprised those that declined the most by the close of play.

Retailers were among the worst-performing sectors, after posting disappointing earnings for the six months to August the previous day, brokers here highlighted.

Among these, Saizeriya, operator of a low-priced Italian restaurant chain, tumbled 6.7 percent, after reporting a hefty net loss for the year through August, while noodle restaurant chain Ringer Hut slumped 6.5 percent, after posting a large net loss.

Similarly, shoes retailer ABC-Mart dropped 3.6 percent, after posting a net profit that was 68.0 percent less than a year earlier.

Issues that fell outpaced those that rose by 1,723 to 380 on the First Section, while 76 ended the day unchanged.

On the main section on Thursday, 888.31 million shares changed hands, dropping from Wednesday's volume of 967.37 million shares.

The turnover on the penultimate trading day of the week came to 1.812 trillion yen (17.205 billion U.S. dollars). Enditem

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