TOKYO, Sept 23 (Reuters) - Japanese shares eased on
Wednesday as the market caught up with the losses in global
markets following the country's long weekend, weighed down by
fears about rising coronavirus infections and a delay in U.S.
Automakers and other value shares led losses, while gaming
companies and internet-related stocks outperformed as worries
about the COVID-19 pandemic resurface.
Nikkei share average shed 0.60% on its first trade
since Friday to 23,220.33. The broader Topix was down
0.54% at 1,637.48.
"There are worries that coronavirus infections could rise as
the temperature cools down. In addition, investors worry about a
delay in U.S. stimulus, given that it was the massive economic
package that has supported the market," said Fumio Matsumoto,
chief strategist at Okasan Securities.
The UK government tightened social restrictions to curb
rises in COVID-19 cases, while many U.S. stimulus programmes
have lapsed with the Congress unable to clinch another deal.
The anxiety that the economy could suffer from a fresh wave
of infections without government support poured cold water on
cyclical value shares, such as automakers.
The Topix value lost 1.06%, compared to a slim
0.11% drop in growth shares.
Suzuki Motor lost 4.0%, while Honda Motor
and Nissan Motor dropped 3.5%. Isuzu Motors
Panasonic fell 3.4% after Tesla Inc CEO
Elon Musk said its highly anticipated new low-cost battery could
take three years.
On the other hand, investors flocked to stay-at-home winners
such as gaming companies. Bandai Namco rose 3.3% and
Cyber Agent gained 4.8%.
Internet infrastructure companies also did well, with NTT
Data rising 3.4%.
Home furnishing store operator Shimachu was
untraded with bids outnumbering offers at the day's limit, up
17.4%, after local media reported rival DCM Holdings
was considering a tender offer for the firm.
DCM also rose 13.6% on hopes of consolidation.
(Reporting by Hideyuki Sano; Editing by Shounak Dasgupta)