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Japanese shares drop on coronavirus concerns

by Paul
shares

Japanese shares fell 1 per cent as death toll from china virus rises

Asian stock markets fell on Thursday amid rising concerns over the rapid spread of the coronavirus from China as it continues to have an economic impact. The death toll from the virus has reached 170, while the number of new detections has surpassing 7,711.

A number of countries are evacuating their citizens from Wuhan, where the virus originated. The virus has already been detected in at least 15 other countries.

Japanese shares fell 1% on Thursday amid rising death toll from the coronavirus outbreak in China and fears over its potential impact on the world’s second-largest economy.

The Nikkei share average was down 0.99% to 23,148.62 by 0150 GMT, after a 0.7% gain in the previous session.

A Chinese government economist estimated the outbreak could cut China’s first-quarter growth by one point to 5% or lower, while U.S. Federal Reserve Chair Jerome Powell said it is “a significant thing which will have some effects on the Chinese economy, at least in the short term.”

Technology shares led the declines in Japan as Screen Holdings Co Ltd fell by its daily limit. The maker of semiconductor manufacturing equipment slashed its operating profit forecasts by almost half on Wednesday.

There were 37 advancers on the Nikkei index against 183 decliners.

Among the decliners were, Screen Holdings, Advantest Corp and IHI Corp.

Screen Holdings fell 19.26%, followed by semiconductor testing equipment maker Advantest Corp, losing 5.78%, and industrial machinery maker IHI Corp, down by 4.47%.

The top percentage gainers were online media company CyberAgent Inc, up 16.1%, followed by electronic components maker Omron Corp, which gained 4.67%, and industrial materials maker Unitika Ltd, up by 3.53%.

Japan Display Inc rose 1.41% after the Nikkei newspaper reported Ichigo Asset Management would inject around 100 billion yen into the company,

Responding to the Nikkei report, Japan Display, said it aimed to finalise the funding deal by the end of the month.

The broader Topix index fell 0.87% to 1,685.19.

The volume of shares traded on the Tokyo Stock Exchange’s main board was 0.45 billion, compared to the average of 1.1 billion in the past 30 days.

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