Sat, 05 Dec 2020

TOKYO, Nov. 20 (Xinhua) -- Tokyo stocks ended mixed Friday as fears grew over the rising number of COVID-19 cases across the world and the economic fallout from the pandemic.

The 225-issue Nikkei Stock Average dropped 106.97 points, or 0.42 percent, from Thursday to close at 25,527.37.

The broader Topix index of all First Section issues on the Tokyo Stock Exchange, meanwhile, gained 0.98 point, or 0.06 percent, to finish at 1,727.39.

Throughout the day, the U.S. dollar fluctuated narrowly in the upper 103 yen zone as selling of the U.S. currency on growing COVID-19 worries was offset by demand from importers in Japan for settlement needs ahead of a three-day holiday.

The Nikkei declined for a third straight trading day, with sentiment hit by a fresh record number of daily coronavirus cases in the country on Thursday. In the capital of Tokyo, the epicenter of the country's outbreak, 522 more coronavirus cases were reported on Friday, topping the 500 mark for the second straight day.

By the close of play, insurance, air transportation and land transportation issues comprised those that declined the most.

On the First Section, advancing issues outnumbered decliners 1,296 to 788, while 93 finished unchanged.

Among the decliners, Japan Airlines dropped 44 yen, or 2.2 percent, to 1,916 yen and ANA Holdings fell 32.00 yen, or 1.2 percent, to 2,532.00 yen.

East Japan Railway slid 54 yen, or 0.8 percent, to 6,505 yen and Keio dropped 100 yen, or 1.3 percent, to 7,730 yen.

"Weakening airline and railway issues reflect investors' worries about the virus spread," Masahiro Ichikawa, chief market strategist at Sumitomo Mitsui DS Asset Management, was quoted by local media.

According to Ichikawa, although the Nikkei hit a 29-year high earlier this week on progress in developing coronavirus vaccines, if new cases continue to surge, the economy could be hit again before a vaccine becomes widely available.

On the main section on Friday, 1,088.96 million shares changed hands, decreasing from Thursday's 1,368.24 million shares.

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