The Japan share market closed down for second straight session on Tuesday, 28 January 2020, as risk aversion selloff continued on following a weak lead from the Wall Street overnight and a downturn on other major global bourses amid worries about the economic impact of coronavirus viral outbreaks in the world’s second largest economy, along with the potential to harm global economic growth. Meanwhile, yen’s rise against the U. S. dollar weighed down exporters and cyclical issues. The majority of industry categories retreated into negative territory, with iron and steel, mining, and oil and coal product-liked issues being notable losers. At closing bell, the 225-issue Nikkei Stock Average declined 127.80 points, or 0.55%, to 23,215.71, while the broader Topix index of all First Section issues on the Tokyo Stock Exchange dropped 10.29 points, or 0.6%, at 1,692.28.
The market commenced trading with weak tone on the heels of an overnight plunge on Wall Street overnight amid growing worries about a further spread of the deadly virus leading to a global economic slowdown. Slowdown fears were exacerbated by the Chinese government’s decision to extend the Lunar New Year holiday period to Sunday in an effort to contain the spread of the disease.
Chinese health authorities said Tuesday that the coronavirus outbreak has killed 106 people and infected 4,515.
In the U. S., at least 110 people were identified as under investigation for the virus, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, while a handful of infections were reported in other countries, such as France and Japan.
Concerns have been growing about the potential impact of the virus on China’s economy, which is set to slow to around 5.7% in 2021 from 6.1% last year, down from its near double-digit growth when the severe acute respiratory syndrome, or SARS, hit in 2002-03, according to data from the International Monetary Fund.
Slowdown fears battered China-linked names such as factory automation equipment maker Keyence, industrial robot producer Fanuc and construction machinery maker Komatsu.
Oil names including JXTG and Idemitsu fell on following a continuing drop in crude oil prices. Oil prices declined in the afternoon of Asian trading hours, with international benchmark Brent crude futures slipping 0.57% to $58.98 per barrel. U. S. crude futures also shed 0.53% to $52.86 per barrel.
On the economic front, the Bank of Japan said that producer prices in Japan were up 2.1 percent on year in December, unchanged from the previous month. Producer prices were flat on month after adding 0.2 percent in November.
CURRENCY NEWS: The Japanese yen, often viewed as a safe-haven currency in times of economic uncertainty, appreciated against a basket of currencies. The Japanese yen traded at 109.04 against the dollar after seeing an earlier high of 108.81.
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