Nikkei hits 1-week low on COVID-19 concerns, corporate earnings

TOKYO, July 10 (Reuters) – Japanese shares closed at a one-week low on Friday as a spike in fresh COVID-19 cases at home and abroad fuelled concerns that the path to economic recovery could be hindered, while the market braced for further corporate earnings pain.

The benchmark Nikkei share average slipped 1.06% to 22,290.81, its lowest close since July 2, with only 21 advancers on the index against 202 decliners.

The broader Topix dropped 1.42% to 1,535.20, also marking its lowest close since June 15.

All 33 sector sub-indexes on the Tokyo exchange traded in the red.

More than 60,500 new COVID-19 infections were reported across the United States on Thursday, the largest single-day tally record, stoking fears that new lockdowns could take a toll on the economic recovery.

Japan’s capital Tokyo also continued to see a record daily number of fresh COVID-19 cases, marking 243 new infections on Friday,

Highly cyclical mining, securities brokerages and real estate were the top three worst performers on the main bourse.

Fast Retailing Co slipped 3.34% after Uniqlo owner lowered its annual outlook as coronavirus-led store closures and weak consumer spending restrained the company’s growth.

Hideyuki Ishiguro, senior strategist at Daiwa Securities in Tokyo, said investors also awaited earnings report from Yaskawa Electric Corp due later in the day.

The motion control equipment maker has high exposure to China, and its earnings announcement will be a touchstone to help determine the impact the pandemic has had on manufacturing industry.

Other notable movers included Ryohin Keikaku, shedding 5.38% after the company said its U.S. subsidiary filed for bankruptcy protection due to coronavirus.

Bucking the overall losses, Sony Corp gained 2.7% following media reports about the company making a $250 million strategic investment in Epic Games, the creator of “Fortnite”. (Reporting by Eimi Yamamitsu; Editing by Simon Cameron-Moore and Sherry Jacob-Phillips)

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