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 fell the most, but losses
were capped as gaming companies and internet-related stocks
outperformed on worries about the COVID-19 pandemic.
The Nikkei share average shed 0.06% on its first
trade since Friday to 23,346.49. The broader Topix was
down 0.13% at 1,644.25.
"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.
Concerns 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 index lost 0.70%, compared with a
0.34% gain in growth shares.
Suzuki Motor declined 3.6%, while Honda Motor
and Nissan Motor dropped 2.8% and 3.2%,
Panasonic fell 3.7% 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 3.4% and
Cyber Agent gained 6.0%.
Internet infrastructure companies also did well, with NTT
Data rising 3.4%.
Fujifilm jumped 4.9% after the company said a
late-stage study of its antiviral drug Avigan showed it was
effective against COVID-19.
Home furnishing store operator Shimachu rose 17.4%,
its daily limit, after local media reported rival DCM Holdings
was considering a tender offer for the firm.
DCM also rose 13.2% on hopes of consolidation.
(Reporting by Hideyuki Sano; Editing by Shounak Dasgupta and