Tokyo stocks open lower on US losses, travel campaign halt

The benchmark Nikkei 225 index lost 0.18 per cent or 49.33 points to 26,683.11 at the open, while the broader Topix index slid 0.15 per cent or 2.70 points to 1,787.82. — Reuters pic
The benchmark Nikkei 225 index lost 0.18 per cent or 49.33 points to 26,683.11 at the open, while the broader Topix index slid 0.15 per cent or 2.70 points to 1,787.82. — Reuters pic

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TOKYO, Dec 15 ― Tokyo stocks opened lower today following losses on Wall Street and the suspension of a domestic tourism campaign over record numbers of virus infections.

The benchmark Nikkei 225 index lost 0.18 per cent or 49.33 points to 26,683.11 at the open, while the broader Topix index slid 0.15 per cent or 2.70 points to 1,787.82.

Yesterday, Wall Street closed mostly lower amid renewed concern that soaring Covid-19 infections will lead to more lockdowns in the fragile US economy.

After hitting a 52-week high during the trading session, the Dow ended with a loss of 0.6 per cent. The broad-based S&P 500 fell 0.4 per cent but the tech-rich Nasdaq Composite Index gained 0.5 per cent.

In Japan, Prime Minister Yoshihide Suga urged citizens to reconsider their holiday travel plans, announcing a temporary halt of the controversial “Go To” travel campaign.

The call came as Japan sees rising infections of around 3,000 new cases per day, with doctors and nurses warning they are overwhelmed.

“Caution over the spread of infections both domestically and abroad is likely to weigh down the market,” Mizuho Securities said in a note.

“But losses are expected to be limited as investors will be in a wait-and-see mode ahead of the FOMC (US Fed) meeting,” it said.

In Tokyo trading, airline companies were lower with Japan Airlines falling 2.88 per cent to ¥1,955 (RM76.40) and ANA Holdings dropping 6.66 per cent to ¥2,305.

Toyota was down 0.15 per cent to ¥7,940 while Honda lost 0.65 per cent to ¥3,018.

Uniqlo casual wear operator Fast Retailing gained 0.37 per cent to ¥84,620. Sony rose 0.45 per cent to ¥9,828.

The dollar fetched ¥103.99 in early Asian trade, against ¥104.00 in New York late yesterday. ― AFP

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