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Japan stocks end lower as fading hopes for G7 action undermine rally

Stock MarketsMar 03, 2020 07:45
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© Reuters. Japan stocks end lower as fading hopes for G7 action undermine rally

* Tracking the coronavirus: https://tmsnrt.rs/3aIRuz7

* Investors speculate BOJ will buy more ETFs

* Coronavirus outbreak has hurt risk assets

By Stanley White

TOKYO, March 3 (Reuters) - Japanese shares closed lower on

Tuesday due to concerns that Group of Seven countries may not

announce a detailed coordinated response to limit the economic

damage from the coronavirus epidemic.

The Nikkei index ended down 1.22% at 21,082.73 after a G7

source told Reuters the bloc is drafting a statement but it

currently does not include any mention of new fiscal spending or

coordinated interest rate cuts. The G7 is expected to release the statement on Tuesday or

Wednesday as policymakers struggle to respond to the global

spread of a novel flu-like virus.

Japanese stocks rallied on Monday after the Bank of Japan

said it would take necessary steps to stabilise markets and

revealed it bought a record amount of exchange-traded funds

(ETFs) linked to Japanese shares. However, shares were unable to sustain those gains on

Tuesday. The World Health Organization (WHO) saying Japan is now

one of four countries that it is most concerned about also

dented sentiment. Infections in Japan have topped 200, with six deaths. That

excludes more than 700 cases and five more deaths from the

quarantined cruise liner.

"I remain worried about downside risks for Japanese stocks

because the virus is still spreading in Japan," said Yutaka

Masushima, market analyst at Monex Securities in Tokyo.

"There are expectations on the policy front, but if this is

not backed up with big fiscal stimulus and monetary easing, then

this is unlikely to alter the course of the economy."

There were 16 advancers on the Nikkei index against 209

decliners.

The largest percentage losers were metal processor DOWA

Holdings Co Ltd 5714.T down 4.71%, followed by media

broadcaster SKY Perfect JSAT Holdings Inc 9412.T losing 4.43%,

and auto maker Nissan Motor Co Ltd 7201.T down by 3.78%.

The largest percentage gainers were drugs maker Teijin Ltd

3401.T up 4.68%, followed by materials producer Asahi Kasei

Corp 3407.T gaining 1.09% and car maker Suzuki Motor Corp

7269.T up by 1.02%.

Teijin gained after the Japanese Association for Infectious

Diseases said three coronavirus patients treated with a drug

made by the company showed signs of improvement.

The virus that emerged in China late last year has spread to

66 countries and killed more than 3,000 people.

The broader Topix index .TOPX fell 1.36% to 1,505.12.

The volume of shares traded on the Tokyo Stock Exchange's

main board .TOPX was 1.76 billion, compared with the average

of 1.32 billion in the past 30 days.

Japan stocks end lower as fading hopes for G7 action undermine rally
 

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