TOKYO, Aug 17 (Reuters) - Japanese stocks fell on Monday by
the most in two weeks after data showed the country's economy
shrank at a record pace in the second quarter as the coronavirus
pandemic crimped consumer spending.
Investors took the data in their stride and locked in profits
as the economy slowly emerges from the lockdowns. The equity
market did not react to a domestic media report that Prime
Minister Shinzo Abe has entered hospital for an examination.
The Nikkei 225 Index fell 0.69% to 23,127.75 by 0207
GMT, with healthcare and telecommunications shares pacing the
decline. The broader Topix was down 0.4%.
Some investors sold shares of companies that recently
reported favourable earnings. Others booked profits on companies
in health care and technology that have risen sharply due to
expectations that these sectors would benefit from the pandemic.
However, the overall mood was cautious due to the simmering
diplomatic row between the United States and China and questions
about how major economies will cope with a recent spike in virus
The underperformers among the top 30 core Topix names were
telecom and venture capitalist SoftBank Group Corp,
down 2.69%, followed by job placement company Recruit Holdings
Co Ltd, losing 2.53%.
The stocks that gained the most among the Topix 30 were
games maker Nintendo Co Ltd, up 1.15 %, followed by
auto manufacturer Honda Motor Co Ltd, gaining 1.1%.
There were 80 advancers on the Nikkei index against 134
The volume of shares traded on the Tokyo Stock Exchange's
main board was 0.3 billion, compared to the average of
1.22 billion in the past 30 days.
(Reporting by Stanley White; Editing by Arun Koyyur)