TOKYO, Nov 19 (Reuters) - Japanese stocks fell for a second
session on Thursday as rising coronavirus cases at home and
exporters' concerns over a firmer yen dented investor sentiment.
The Nikkei 225 Index fell 0.48% to 25,603.77 at 0205
GMT, while the broader Topix was down 0.25% at 1,716.30.
COVID-19 cases in Tokyo hit a record daily high on Wednesday
and investors are worried that policymakers will order services
sector companies to shorten their business hours.
Infections are also rising rapidly in the United States,
raising concerns about the health of the world's largest
"Equity prices have risen very rapidly, so we are now in a
phase where many people are considering taking profits," said
Masayuki Kichikawa, chief macro strategist at Sumitomo Mitsui
"If this were the spring, the Japanese government would
already be telling people to stay at home. However, the downside
for equities is limited because the decline in economic activity
is likely to be less than it was earlier this year."
The underperformers among the Topix 30 were Astellas Pharma
Inc down 2.27%, followed by Mitsubishi UFJ Financial
Group Inc losing 1.90%.
Shares also took a hit as the yen rose to a
one-week high. A stronger yen tends to decrease earnings for
The stocks that gained the most among the top 30 core Topix
names were drugmaker Daiichi Sankyo Co Ltd, up 2.28%,
followed by trading house Itochu Corp, which rose
There were 72 advancers on the Nikkei index against 150
decliners. About 0.47 billion shares traded on the Tokyo Stock
Exchange's main board, compared with an average of 1.13
billion in the past 30 days.
(Reporting by Stanley White; Editing by Ramakrishnan M.)