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  24 May 2022, 09:47

Tokyo shares soften despite Wall Street gains

 TOKYO, May 24, 2022 (BSS/AFP) - Tokyo stocks opened down Tuesday despite
overnight rallies on Wall Street as investors eyed the spread of Covid-19 in
China.

The benchmark Nikkei 225 index was down 0.50 percent, or 136.07 points, at
26,865.45 in morning trade, while the broader Topix index slipped 0.45
percent or 8.60 points to 1,885.97.

Some investors sold shares to cut their losses after sharp drops in recent
days, but analysts said the market was generally well supported as investors
cheered healthy gains in US markets driven by banking and tech shares.

Concerns remain over the spread of Covid-19 in China, with fears that Beijing
may resort to robust containment steps, said Taylor Nugent of National
Australia Bank.

"On the other hand, there was also news that China plans additional support
for the economy," he added in a note.

Market sentiment was also boosted after US President Joe Biden -- in Tokyo
for a summit with Japan, Australia and India -- said he was considering
removing some of the punitive import duties enacted on China by predecessor
Donald Trump.

"Tokyo shares today appear well supported," Okasan Online Securities said.
"Investors are comforted after blue-chip issues like Apple and Microsoft
surged overnight."

Depending on upcoming earnings announcements from US firms, particularly
retail businesses, "it's possible that excessive caution (about the US
economy) might ease," the brokerage added.

Nintendo lost 0.69 percent to 59,400 yen. SoftBank Group fell 0.87 percent to
5,230 yen, and Uniqlo operator Fast Retailing fell 0.89 percent to 59,910
yen.

Banking shares gained after their Wall Street peers rallied. Mitsubishi UFJ
Financial Group rose 1.87 percent to 747.6 yen.

Shipping firm Nippon Yusen added 1.46 percent to 10,390 yen. Air carrier ANA
Holdings added 0.30 percent to 2,518.5 yen and Japan Airlines rose 0.98
percent to 2,267 yen.

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