Sat, 05 Dec 2020

TOKYO, Oct. 28 (Xinhua) -- Tokyo stocks closed lower Wednesday as the yen's rise against the U.S. dollar hurt exporter issues amid ongoing concerns about coronavirus cases surging in Europe and the United States.

The 225-issue Nikkei Stock Average lost 67.29 points, or 0.29 percent, from Tuesday to close the day at 23,418.51.

The broader Topix index of all First Section issues on the Tokyo Stock Exchange, meanwhile, fell 4.98 points, or 0.31 percent, to finish at 1,612.55.

Investors fled riskier assets like stocks and into safer havens like the Japanese yen and government bonds on concerns that a surge of COVID-19 cases in Europe and the United States will hamper the pace of the global economic recovery from the pandemic, brokers here said.

They added that concerns still remained over U.S. lawmakers' protracted stalemate over a coronavirus stimulus package.

"The local market tracked the overnight weakness in U.S. stocks on rising coronavirus infections and as U.S. lawmakers struggle to reach an agreement on a stimulus package," Masahiro Ichikawa, senior strategist at Sumitomo Mitsui DS Asset Management in Tokyo, was quoted as saying.

By the close of play, mining, iron and steel, and insurance-linked issues comprised those that declined the most.

Among steelmakers losing ground on concerns over weak global demand, Nippon Steel dropped 3.3 percent, JFE Holdings lost 4.7 percent, while Kobe Steel slumped 3.3 percent.

Insurers were among notable decliners after U.S. Treasury yields dropped overnight on waning hopes for a U.S. stimulus deal, with Tokio Marine Holdings down 3.5 percent, T&D Holdings losing 2.8 percent and Dai-ichi Life Holdings dropping 2.7 percent.

Bucking the downward trend, ANA Holdings added 0.35 percent, after revealing a day earlier its cost cutting measures looking ahead despite its forecast for a record operating loss for the year to March.

Issues that fell outpaced those that rose by 1,480 to 634 on the First section, while 66 ended the day unchanged.

On the main section on Wednesday, 1,183.05 million shares changed hands, rising from Tuesday's volume of 945.34 million shares.

The turnover on the third trading day of the week came to 2.356 trillion yen (22.614 billion U.S. dollars).

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