TOKYO, Jan 6 (Reuters) - Japanese stocks on Wednesday
flitted between positive and negative territory, lacking any
clear direction, as investors awaited results of U.S. Senate
runoff elections in Georgia that could sway President-elect Joe
Biden's economic policies.
Sentiment also weakened as Tokyo and surrounding cities
prepare to enter a state of emergency as early as Thursday to
curb a spike in coronavirus infections.
The Nikkei 225 Index was down 0.31% at 27,073.26 by
0201 GMT, after gaining as much as 0.17% shortly after the
opening bell. The broader Topix rose 0.28% to 1,796.56.
If Democrat challengers win, it would be easier for Biden to
pass big fiscal spending, which is generally considered a
positive. A Democrat sweep could also make it easier for Biden
to raise corporate taxes, which is a negative for stocks.
However, initial results are very close, and Republican
candidates could challenge the vote count if they lose.
Uncertainty about U.S. politics and the economic impact of
business restrictions under a state of emergency could continue
to weigh on Japanese shares in the short term.
"If we get more clarity on what type of policies will emerge
from a Biden administration as a result of the Georgia vote,
then the trend for markets could change," said Ayako Sera,
market strategist at Sumitomo Mitsui Trust Bank.
"I don't expect a big sell-off, but Japanese stocks have
already rallied so much last year that upside this year will be
The underperformers among the Topix 30 were Keyence Corp
down 1.76%, followed by Daikin Industries Ltd
The stocks that gained the most among the top 30 core Topix
names were Nippon Telegraph and Telephone Corp up
2.82%, followed by Seven & i Holdings Co Ltd gainig
There were 124 advancers in the Nikkei index against 95
The volume of shares traded on the Tokyo Stock Exchange's
main board was 0.49 billion, compared with the average
of 1.18 billion in the past 30 days.
(Reporting by Stanley White, Editing by Sherry Jacob-Phillips)