Tokyo Stocks Close Lower On Record Virus Cases

Tokyo, July 17 (AFP/APP):  Tokyo stocks closed lower on Friday as market sentiment worsened after the capital’s governor announced a fresh record number of daily coronavirus infections.

 

The benchmark Nikkei 225 index fell 0.32 percent or 73.94 points to end at 22,696.42. It was up 0.8 percent over the week. The broader Topix index slid 0.33 percent or 5.21 points to 1,573.85.

It grew 1.4 percent over the week. Tokyo Governor Yuriko Koike said there were 293 new COVID-19 infections in the capital, breaking the record set the day before.

The increasing number of daily cases in Tokyo has forced the government to scale down its subsidies programme aimed at boosting tourism, limiting it to people living outside the capital.

“The Nikkei index opened higher but it fell as concerns grew over the spread of coronavirus infections,” said Okasan Online Securities chief strategist Yoshihiro Ito.

Mizuho Securities said in a note that “worries over an expansion in virus infections and its impact on the domestic economy, along with concerns over the US-China confrontation, are seen prompting some selling”.

Investors are also closely watching the two-day EU summit starting later Friday, Mizuho added.

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