TOKYO, April 21 (Reuters) - Japanese shares extended losses
on Wednesday as investor fears of potential lockdowns in the
country's biggest cities cast doubts over the prospects of an
Nikkei share average tumbled 2.03% to close at
28,508.55, while the broader Topix fell 1.98% to
1,888.18 - both indexes dropped the most in about a month.
"Global investors find little reason to buy Japanese stocks
because Japan is lagging behind other countries in terms of
containing the virus," said Hideyuki Ishiguro, senior
strategist, Daiwa Securities.
"Worsening the sentiment is that Japan is now planning to
declare a state of emergency again."
The government is considering a state of emergency for Tokyo
and Osaka as new COVID-19 case numbers surge, broadcaster NHK
reported on Wednesday, a move that would enable prefectural
authorities to impose curbs to try to stop infections spreading.
New declarations would mark the third full state of
emergency in Japan since the epidemic began. The total economic
loss from a renewed emergency in the three regions would be
1.156 trillion yen ($10.71 billion), the Nomura Research
Institute said in a report.
Steel makers and other material sectors
lost the most in the Nikkei index.
Nippon Steel tumbled 5.4%, while JFE Holdings
and Kobe Steel lost 5.39% and 4.87%,
Toshiba fell 3.3% after it dismissed a $20 billion
buyout offer from CVC Capital Partners.
Shares of Rakuten Group lost 5.5%, becoming the
biggest loser in the Nikkei, following a report that the United
States and Japan will jointly monitor the e-commerce firm after
a unit of Tencent became a major shareholder.
SoftBank Group gained 1.03% amid news that its $100
billion Vision Fund is widely seen reporting record earnings
(Reporting by Junko Fujita; Additional reporting by Rocky
Swift; Editing by Shounak Dasgupta and Sherry Jacob-Phillips)