TOKYO, Oct 29 (Reuters) - Japanese shares fell to a
one-month low on Thursday weighed by concerns about fresh
coronavirus lockdowns in Europe, although companies issuing
bullish forecasts during earnings season limited losses.
The Nikkei 225 Index ended down 0.37% to 23,331.94.
The Nikkei touched its lowest level since Oct. 2 but then pared
its losses. The broader Topix fell 0.01% to 1,610.93.
France and Germany, Europe's two-largest economies, were
forced back into lockdowns to contain a second wave of
Some investors were also reluctant to buy equities due to
uncertainty about the Nov. 3 election in the United States.
The underperformers among the Topix 30 were Central Japan
Railway Co and East Japan Railway Co, which
fell 2.4% each.
However, declines in stocks were limited by an improving
earnings outlook and as Japan's coronavirus infections were much
smaller than those in Europe.
"Japanese stocks are not going to enter a correction phase,"
said Norihiro Fujito, chief investment strategist at Mitsubishi
UFJ Morgan Stanley Securities.
"There could be some profit-taking before the U.S. election,
but when you look at individual shares, Japanese companies are
raising their forecasts and their shares are rising. Our
coronavirus infections are relatively small."
The stocks that gained the most among the top 30 core Topix
names were consumer electronics maker Sony Corp up
6.69%, followed by industrial conglomerate Hitachi Ltd
Both Sony and Hitachi raised their earnings forecasts, which
suggests Japanese companies are likely to weather another dip in
global economic activity, analysts said.
Stocks showed little reaction to the Bank of Japan's
decision to keep its policy on hold earlier on Thursday.
There were 78 advancers on the Nikkei index against 140
The volume of shares traded on the Tokyo Stock Exchange's
main board was 0.87 billion, compared to the average of
1.05 billion in the past 30 days.
(Reporting by Stanley White; Editing by Amy Caren Daniel)