(RTTNews) – The Japanese stock market is modestly lower on Friday in choppy trading in the absence of fresh cues from Wall Street, which was closed overnight for a holiday.
Worries about the surge in coronavirus cases in Japan and news that AstraZeneca might conduct an additional global trial to evaluate the efficacy of its COVID-19 vaccine weighed on the market.
The benchmark Nikkei 225 Index is down 39.81 points or 0.15 percent to 26,497.50, after touching a high of 26,647.18 earlier. The Japanese market closed at a fresh 29 year-high on Thursday.
Market heavyweight SoftBank Group is gaining almost 3 percent, while Fast Retailing is down 0.3 percent. In the tech space, Tokyo Electron is up 0.1 percent and Advantest is unchanged.
The major exporters are mostly higher despite a stronger yen. Sony is rising 0.6 percent, Mitsubishi Electric is adding 0.3 percent and Panasonic is up 0.2 percent, while Canon is lower by 0.5 percent.
In the banking sector, Mitsubishi UFJ Financial and Sumitomo Mitsui Financial are losing more than 1 percent each. Among automakers, Honda is declining more than 1 percent and Toyota is down almost 1 percent.
Property developer Mitsui Fudosan is planning a $1 billion bid for ballpark and hotel operator Tokyo Dome Corp., according to reports. Shares of Mitsui Fudosan are rising more than 2 percent.
Among the other major gainers, Tokyo Tatemono is gaining almost 8 percent and Daiichi Sankyo is rising more than 4 percent. Tokyu Fudosan, Furukawa Electric, Nippon Light Metal Holdings and Toho Zinc are all higher by more than 3 percent each.
Conversely, Nexon Co. is losing more than 3 percent and Casio Computer is lower by more than 2 percent.
In the currency market, the U.S. dollar is trading in the lower 104 yen-range on Friday.
The U.S. stock markets were closed on Thursday for the Thanksgiving Day holiday.
The major European markets closed somewhat flat on Thursday. The U.K.’s FTSE 100 slid 0.4 percent, while Germany’s DAX and France’s CAC 40 edged down by 0.02 percent and 0.08 percent, respectively.
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