TOKYO, July 15 (Reuters) - Japanese stocks sank on Thursday,
dragged by caution ahead of corporate earnings season and a
surge in COVID-19 cases a week before the Tokyo Olympics get
The Nikkei share average dropped 0.9% to 28,343.83
by the midday break, with the broader Topix sliding
about the same margin to 1,946.37.
Tokyo reported 1,149 new infections on Wednesday, the most
since mid-January, despite a new state of emergency that began
on Monday and runs through Aug. 22. Many worry that the influx
of foreign athletes and Olympic officials could also trigger
another surge in cases.
"Infections are still going up, and the Olympics is just
about to start, which is making investors cautious," said
Masahiro Ichikawa, chief market strategist at Sumitomo Mitsui DS
"Earnings season is also just about to start, so there are
some position adjustments taking place," he said, adding that it
is also contributing to the weakness in equities.
Uniqlo clothing brand owner Fast Retailing Co.
slipped 1.3% before announcing financial results later on
On the Nikkei, Nikon Corp. was the biggest loser,
Hitachi extended its drop from a two-decade high to
a second day, sliding 3%.
Among Topix sectors, mining lost the most,
falling 2.3% amid a slide in crude oil prices. [O/R}
Carmakers weakened 1.1% after the European Union
announced tighter emissions restrictions that will make it
impossible to sell gasoline and diesel cars by 2035, including
Isuzu Motors fell the most, losing 2.7%, followed
by a 2.6% slide for Toyota-owned truck maker Hino Motors
. Nissan Motor Co. sank 1.9%. Toyota Motor Corp
fared better, falling 0.6%.
(Editing by Uttaresh.V)