TOKYO, July 8 (Reuters) - Japanese shares fell on Thursday,
as the country's plan to reintroduce a state of emergency to
contain a resurgence of COVID-19 infections stoked worries about
an economic slowdown.
The Nikkei share average slipped 0.88% to 28,118.03,
its lowest close in more than two weeks, while the broader Topix
was down 0.90% at 1,920.32.
Japan is set to declare its fourth state of emergency for
Tokyo that will run through its hosting of the Olympics, a key
The Tokyo area is currently under slightly less strict
"quasi emergency" curbs. Under the heightened restrictions,
restaurants will be asked to stop serving alcohol, economy
minister Yasutoshi Nishimura said.
"The reintroduction of state of emergency is one reason that
investors are hesitant to buy Japanese stocks," said Shigetoshi
Kamada, general manager for the research department of Tachibana
Olympic organisers are set to ban all spectators from the
Games, which are scheduled to run from July 23 to Aug. 8, the
Asahi daily said on Thursday.
"Olympics may be considered as negative for the market. If
it will be held successfully without spreading the disease, that
may take the sting out of the market," said Yusuke Maeyama, a
researcher at NLI Research.
In the near-term, traders were wary of selling from Exchange
Traded Funds (ETFs) to procure cash for their dividend payments.
Analysts estimate a total selling of about 800 billion yen on
Thursday and Friday.
Retailers Isetan Mitsukoshi Holdings and Marui
Group fell 3.1% and 2%, respectively.
Showa Denko slipped 1.9% after a report said the
materials maker planned to sell its underperforming lead-acid
battery operations to Japanese private equity fund Advantage
Super market operator Aeon briefly jumped following
upbeat earnings before erasing gains to end 0.8% lower.
Daikin Industries jumped 3.7% after the Nikkei
business daily reported the air conditioner maker had developed
a refrigerant for electric vehicles that could extend their
range by up to 50%.
(Reporting by Junko Fujita and Hideyuki Sano; Editing by
Subhranshu Sahu and Amy Caren Daniel)