Tokyo stocks tumble by pare losses after virus rout

Tokyo stocks tumble by pare losses after virus rout

Pedestrians wearing face masks walk past an electric board showing the Nikkei 225 index (C) on the Tokyo Stock Exchange in Tokyo. AFP

Tokyo stocks plunged more than six percent on Friday, trimming losses following a global rout on fears of a world recession caused by the coronavirus outbreak.

The benchmark Nikkei 225 index, which dropped more than 10 percent in the morning session, ended down 6.08 percent, or 1,128.58 points, at 17,431.05. The index fell 16 percent over the tumultuous week.

The broader Topix fell 4.98 percent, or 66.18 points, to 1,261.70, shedding more than 14 percent over the week.

Follow today's developments of the stock markets here

"The Bank of Japan's liquidity supply operation might have worked" to pare some earlier losses, Hideyuki Suzuki, head of investment information section of SBI Securities, told AFP.

"But as there is no fundamental change in the environment linked to the new coronavirus -- we are now in the stage of the virus spreading to the US, from China initially -- the market will not likely rebound anytime soon, unless the situation in the US improves," he said.

Equity markets have been hammered this week, with losses exacerbated by Donald Trump's decision to ban travel from Europe to the US.

Trump's comments suggesting delaying the Tokyo Olympics because of the coronavirus have also weighed on Japan's markets, analysts said.

US stocks nosedived on Thursday, with the Dow losing 10 percent in its worst day since 1987.

Still, the dollar fetched 105.47 yen in Asian trade, against 104.79 yen in New York on Thursday.

In Tokyo, shares were sharply lower across the board, with Toyota dropping 3.56 percent to 6,084 yen, game giant Nintendo down 4.59 percent at 33,220 yen, and telecom and investment titan SoftBank Group falling 5.04 percent to 3,764 yen.

Banks were also lower, with Mitsubishi UFJ Financial losing 5.09 percent to 397.1 yen and Sumitomo Mitsui Financial off 5.38 percent to 2,644 yen.

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