Monday, 15th July, 2024
Monday, 15th July, 2024

Tokyo shares open lower ahead of state of emergency

Tokyo stocks opened lower on Wednesday as
the Japanese government prepared to issue a fresh state of emergency to fight
the surging coronavirus, with players also eyeing elections in the US state
of Georgia.

The Nikkei 225 index fell 0.13 percent, or 35.46 points, to 27,123.17 in
early trade, while the broader Topix index edged down 0.03 percent, or 0.56
points to 1,790.66.

Overnight gains on Wall Street were encouraging, but the yen’s strength
continued to weigh on the Tokyo market, analysts said.

The Japanese currency stood at 102.61 yen in Tokyo, against 102.72 yen
overnight in New York.

“The market may try to use the momentum from the US market and attempt to
regain ground that was lost earlier, but the continued strength of the yen is
a cause for concern,” Okasan Online Securities said.

“With the US elections, and ahead of a state of emergency (in part of
Japan), investors may become inclined to take a wait-and-see attitude,” the
brokerage said, expecting the market to spend the day without a clear sense
of direction.

Polls closed for the US Senate runoff elections that will determine the
balance of power in Congress as trading began in Tokyo.

Last-minute surges in polls by the Republican candidates lifted Wall
Street, as their victories would mean higher hurdles for policy moves by the
next Democratic administration, including possible tax hikes and tougher
industry regulations, analysts said.

Meanwhile, eyes in Tokyo are on the government as it prepares to declare a
state of emergency on Thursday that will focus largely on bars and
restaurants in the greater Tokyo region to fight the fast spread of
coronavirus infections.

Officials have said the measure will be “focused” and “limited” and reports
suggest it will last about a month.

Among major shares, SoftBank Group added 1.22 percent to 8,118 yen. Toyota
rose 0.45 percent to 7,847 yen.

Some high-tech issues suffered. Advantest, the world’s top builder of
semiconductor testing tools, fell 1.98 percent to 7,940 yen. Tokyo Electron,
which makes tools to build semiconductors, fell 1.00 percent to 38,490.

Sony dipped 0.19 percent to 10,550 yen.

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