Japanese stocks retreated from the upside to close lower today as fears over a slowdown in the nation’s Covid-19 immunization campaign overcame the strong gains made by stocks on Wall Street.
The Nikkei index closed 0.92 percent lower at 27,824.83 points, after rising 0.8 percent earlier in the session. While the broader Topix index fell 0.24 percent to 1878.86 points.
Norihiro Fujito, chief investment analyst at Mitsubishi Yu said. F. J. Morgan Stanley Securities Japanese technology stocks could have tracked the Nasdaq close higher on Friday but did not. This means that the market has negative motives limited to Japan.
The biggest reason is the slow introduction of vaccines. This puts pressure on business sentiment, prompting investors to sell the Nikkei heavyweight shares.
Reuters data shows that the vaccination campaign in Japan is the slowest among developed countries, as only 3 percent of the population has received the vaccine so far.
Earnings data and disappointing expectations also pressed some stocks. Honda Motor Co slipped 2.68 percent after the automaker warned that a shortage of semiconductors and a high cost of raw materials would limit growth this year.
Cable maker Fujikura fell 15.4 percent and was the biggest decliner in the Nikkei after the company reported low earnings data.
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