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Japan stocks fall, post biggest weekly loss in 3 months on virus worries

10/30/2020 | 01:35am

TOKYO, Oct 30 (Reuters) - Japanese shares fell on Friday and posted their biggest weekly loss in three months as mixed earnings, rising coronavirus cases and uncertainty over the U.S. presidential election hurt sentiment.

The Nikkei 225 Index ended down 1.52% at 22,977.13. The index declined 2.3% this week, its biggest weekly loss since July 31.

The broader Topix closed 1.96% lower at 1,579.33 on Friday and fell 2.83% for the week.

A surge in coronavirus cases in Europe and the United States has rattled investor confidence this week, with France and Germany reinstating lockdowns - a move that has raised concerns over global economic recovery.

The growing risk of an inconclusive result to the Nov. 3 U.S. election and a sharp decline in U.S. stock futures during the Asian session also prompted investors to reduce long positions, analysts said.

"The fall in U.S. futures is a sign that it's time to take profits before the election," said Kiyoshi Ishigane, fund manager at Mitsubishi UFJ Kokusai Asset Management Co.

"But I'm not too worried because there are some good Japanese corporate earnings out there."

Leading the losses on the Nikkei, were Kyocera Corp down 9.95%, followed by Oki Electric Industry Co Ltd losing 7.03%, and trading company Mitsui & Co Ltd down by 6.32%. All the companies posted disappointing earnings.

Conversely, the largest percentage gainers were companies that reported positive earnings. Advantest Corp rose 9.24%, followed by Seiko Epson Corp gaining 6.83%, and Panasonic Corp up by 4.94%.

Panasonic got another boost after saying it will develop a new battery for electronic-car maker Tesla Inc.

There were 20 advancers on the Nikkei index against 201 decliners.

The volume of shares traded on the Tokyo Stock Exchange's main board was 1.08 billion, compared with the average of 1.05 billion in the past 30 days. (Reporting by Stanley White; Editing by Aditya Soni)

© Reuters 2020
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