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

Published Mar 03, 2020 14:43
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Japan stocks end lower as fading hopes for G7 action undermine rally
 
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* 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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