TOKYO: Japanese shares closed lower on Wednesday, tracking cues from Wall Street’s weak overnight finish, while domestic cyclicals lost ground as concerns over the country’s pandemic-induced economic slump weighed on investor sentiment.
“Japanese market can’t be free from the influence of overseas markets. At the same time, Japan has its own negative factor – the government’s emergency measures to curb Covid-19 infections,” Yoshihiro Takeshige, general manager at investment management department, Asahi Life Asset Management, said.
“It is hard to find reasons for a market recovery in a short term.”
US stocks closed weaker overnight, slumping on a sharp decline in telecom stocks and weak housing starts data that overshadowed better-than-expected earnings.
A jump in Covid-19 infections stoked alarm in Japan amid a shortage of medical staff and hospital beds in Tokyo, prompting a top medical organisation to call for cancellation of the Tokyo Olympics scheduled in July.
Cyclical shares took a hit, with machinery and paper sectors losing the most among the 33 sector sub-indexes on the main bourse.
Toyota Motor, which touched a record high in the previous session, fell 1.36 per cent after the automaker said it would halt its production operations next month in northern Japan due to chip shortage.
Japan Steel Works gained the most on the Nikkei, rising 4.75 per cent, followed by Kajima Corp climbing 3.46 per cent and Nexon Co that scaled 3.14 per cent.
Mitsui Chemicals, which dropped 5.8 per cent, was the largest percentage loser in the index, followed by Fujikura losing 5.74 per cent and Nippon Light Metal Holdings down by 4.94 per cent.