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Tokyo stocks fall in morning as global coronavirus cases surge

This Oct. 1, 2020 photo shows the Tokyo Stock Exchange. (Kyodo)

TOKYO (Kyodo) -- Tokyo stocks fell Tuesday morning as surging coronavirus cases in the United States and some European countries dampened hopes for a swift global economic recovery, but issues also showed some resilience amid hopes for better-than-expected earnings despite the pandemic-caused downturn.

    The 225-issue Nikkei Stock Average lost 65.64 points, or 0.28 percent, from Monday to 23,428.70. The broader Topix index of all First Section issues on the Tokyo Stock Exchange was down 6.63 points, or 0.41 percent, at 1,612.35.

    Decliners were led by air transportation, mining and rubber product issues.

    The U.S. dollar hovered in the upper 104 yen range. At noon, it fetched 104.71-72 yen compared with 104.78-88 yen in New York and 104.87-88 yen in Tokyo at 5 p.m. Monday.

    The euro was quoted at $1.1822-1823 and 123.79-81 yen against $1.1804-1814 and 123.75-85 yen in New York and $1.1833-1834 and 124.09-13 yen in Tokyo late Monday afternoon.

    Tokyo shares opened lower, tracking sharp falls overnight on Wall Street and in European markets. But they gradually trimmed losses once the initial selling lost steam.

    "Unlike the situations in Europe and the United States, daily infection cases in Japan have not surpassed levels seen in spring and summer," said Maki Sawada, vice president of the investment research and investor services department at Nomura Securities Co.

    "The (Tokyo) market was also supported by buying in some issues with better-than-expected earnings reports released on Monday," she added.

    Releases of results for the fiscal first half ended last month will continue this week in Japan.

    In Europe, Spain declared a state of emergency on Sunday while Italy imposed social distancing rules from Monday. Soaring daily infections in the United States have also hurt investor confidence, brokers said.

    On the First Section, declining issues outnumbered advancers 1,352 to 692, while 121 ended the morning unchanged.

    Oil related issues were notably weak amid concerns that the coronavirus pandemic will continue to weigh on demand.

    Oil explorer Inpex dropped 16.70 yen, or 3.1 percent, to 527.80 yen. Japan Petroleum Exploration sagged 71 yen, or 3.9 percent, to 1,752 yen, while refiner Cosmo Energy Holdings lost 36 yen, or 2.3 percent, to 1,563 yen.

    Bucking the downward trend, Canon surged 117.00 yen, or 6.5 percent, to 1,905.00 yen after revising upward on Monday its profit forecast for 2020 on strong demand for its new digital cameras and printers.

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