Japan stocks are declining, ending a series of gains


A man wears a muzzle to guard against the threat of an emerging coronavirus, its reflection on an electronic screen displaying stock prices in Tokyo on March 17, 2020. Photo: Issy Kato – Reuters.

TOKYO (Reuters) – The Nikkei index ended the four-session gains on Thursday, as investors held back from forming positions in the market after the benchmark hit the highest level in two and a half months, raising fears of possible overvaluation of shares .

The Nikkei ended 0.21 percent lower at 20,552.31 points. Earlier in the session, the index rose to 20,734.91 points, its strongest level since March 6. The broader Topix index lost 0.23 percent to 1491.21 points.

Nikkei has risen 8.6 percent since the start of the current quarter, after suffering a 20 percent loss in the previous quarter due to concerns about severe economic damage caused by the Covid-19 pandemic.

The Japanese government is expected to lift the state of emergency later on Thursday from three regions around Osaka, the country’s second largest urban area after Tokyo, and similar steps may be taken on Tokyo by the end of the month.

With more people expected to work from home even after the emergency ends, railway companies are expected to lose revenue from movement and company flights, while cosmetic companies prepare for a drop in sales.

Shares of railway operators Tokyo, Kyo and East Japan Railway fell about 2.4 percent for each company, while Central Japan Railway fell 1.6 percent.

Shiseido cosmetics industry plunged 1.8 percent.

On the other hand, Irum Group shares rose 21.1 percent to the daily maximum after the biotechnology company said its project to develop a vaccine for Corona virus had won the support of a public research body.

Moataz Mohamed prepared for the Arab publication


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