Japan shares slump on Covid-19 worries, mixed earnings

Japanese shares slump on coronavirus worries, mixed earnings

The growing risk of an inconclusive result in the US election has also prompted investors to reduce long positions in equities

Japan Stock Exchange. Credit: Reuters Photo

Japanese shares fell on Friday and were set for their biggest weekly loss in more than two months as mixed earnings, rising coronavirus cases and uncertainty over the US presidential election hurt sentiment.

The Nikkei 225 Index was down 0.72% at 23,164.68 by 0202 GMT. The index has declined 1.58% this week, on course for its biggest weekly loss since Aug. 21.

The broader Topix was down 1.25% at 1,590.92 on Friday.

A surge in coronavirus cases in Europe and the United States has rattled investor confidence this week, with France and Germany reinstating lockdowns - a move that has raised concerns over the global economic recovery.

The growing risk of an inconclusive result to the Nov. 3 US election has also prompted investors to reduce long positions in equities, analysts say.

Leading the losses on the Nikkei, Kyocera Corp fell 8.38%, followed by Omron Corp losing 5.5%, and Daiwa Securities Group Inc down by 4.78%.

Makers of electronic parts Kyocera and Omron both fell after their earnings, announced after market close on Thursday, disappointed some investors.

Conversely, the largest percentage gainers were Seiko Epson Corp up 9.67%, followed by Advantest Corp gaining 8.7%, and Panasonic Corp up by 5.51%.% after they reported improving margins.

Panasonic got another boost after saying it will develop a new battery for electronic-car maker Tesla Inc.

There were 39 advancers on the Nikkei index against 181 decliners.

The volume of shares traded on the Tokyo Stock Exchange's main board was 0.46 billion, compared with the average of 1.05 billion in the past 30 days.