TOKYO, Nov 8 (Reuters) - Japanese shares closed lower on
Monday as construction stocks weakened on some downbeat
earnings, while drugmakers lost their footing after Pfizer's
COVID-19 antiviral pill showed promising efficacy in a trial.
The Nikkei share average fell 0.35% to 29,507.05,
despite Wall Street finishing strong on Friday, slipping from a
one-month high hit on Thursday. The broader Topix ended
0.30% lower at 2,035.22.
With Japanese corporate earnings season in full swing this
week, investors were hesitant to buy near the Nikkei's
psychological resistance at 30,000.
Obayashi Corp dropped 9.2% after the builder
slashed its guidance sharply, hit in part by rising costs, while
rival Shimizu Corp shed 7.7% on disappointing earnings.
As a result, the construction sector fell 1.9%.
Drugmaker Shionogi lost 5.7% and Chugai
Pharmaceutical declined 3.7% after rival Pfizer
said its experimental pill cut by 89% the chance of
hospitalization or death from COVID-19.
Mixi sank by its daily limit, losing 18.2% after
the internet firm cut its earnings guidance sharply on poor
sales of its main game service.
On the other hand, endoscope maker Olympus jumped
6.0% on bumper earnings results, while Sega Sammy rose
7.8% after the game company reported strong profits and
announced a share buyback.
Total net profits from Japanese companies that have so far
announced results have beaten consensus estimates, on average,
by 12%, said Nobuhiko Kuramochi, market strategist at Mizuho
"But overall they aren't that impressive. And forward
earnings expectations have been almost flat in the past month,"
Airlines and train operators gained on
news of Pfizer's COVID-19 drug, as it added to hopes of economic
recovery amid a fall in infections at home.
More than 1,500 companies are scheduled to announce
quarterly results this week, including SoftBank Group
on Monday, Nissan Motor on Tuesday and Tokyo Electron
(Reporting by Hideyuki Sano; Editing by Rashmi Aich and