TOKYO, Oct 16 (Reuters) - Japans Nikkei share average was
nearly flat on Friday as new coronavirus curbs in Europe dimmed
hopes of a global economic recovery, although gains in Fast
Retailing after it forecast upbeat annual earnings helped to cap
The benchmark Nikkei share average was little
changed at 23,523.37 by the midday break, with 80 advancers on
the index against 137 decliners. The broader Topix lost
0.28% to 1,627.14.
Both the indexes were set to post weekly losses.
All but ten of the 33 sector sub-indexes on the Tokyo
exchange traded lower, with real estate,
pharmaceuticals and land transport leading
the decline on the main bourse.
The sentiment was weighed down by the introduction of new
coronavirus restrictions in Europe, with London entering a
tighter lockdown and France imposing night curfews in major
cities to curb a jump in COVID-19 cases.
Some investors also remained on the sidelines due to
uncertainty over the U.S. stimulus talks, and ahead of the U.S.
presidential election and earnings reports from domestic firms.
The Nikkei, however, was supported by index heavyweight Fast
Retailing, which jumped more than 4.4% after the
retailer forecast a stronger-than-expected surge in operating
profit this business year.
The stocks that gained the most among the top 30 core Topix
names were Astellas Pharma Inc up 1.28%, followed by
The underperformers among the Topix 30 were Sony Corp
down 2.13%, followed by Takeda Pharmaceutical Co Ltd
The Mothers Index of start-up firms lost 0.64%, on
course to snap four consecutive weekly gains.
(Reporting by Eimi Yamamitsu; Editing by Aditya Soni)