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Tokyo stocks fall in morning on worries over new lockdowns in Europe

This photo shows the Tokyo Stock Exchange. (Kyodo)

TOKYO (Kyodo) -- Tokyo stocks fell Thursday morning amid worries over the global economic fallout from overnight announcements by France and Germany that they will impose partial lockdowns to curb the resurgence of coronavirus infections.

    The 225-issue Nikkei Stock Average lost 156.53 points, or 0.67 percent, from Wednesday to 23,261.98. The broader Topix index of all First Section issues on the Tokyo Stock Exchange was down 7.79 points, or 0.48 percent, at 1,604.76.

    Decliners were led by securities house, oil and coal product, and iron and steel issues.

    The U.S. dollar inched up in the mid-104 yen zone as investors moved into cash amid uncertainty over the situation in Europe.

    At noon, the dollar fetched 104.45-46 yen compared with 104.26-36 yen in New York and 104.21-22 yen in Tokyo at 5 p.m. Wednesday.

    The euro was quoted at $1.1746-1750 and 122.70-77 yen against $1.1741-1751 and 122.53-63 yen in New York and $1.1770-1771 and 122.66-70 yen in Tokyo late Wednesday afternoon.

    The Nikkei lost ground from the outset, briefly falling over 200 points, on losses overnight in U.S. and European markets. But the index limited its slide on brisk earnings from some major companies like Sony Corp.

    "As symbolized by Sony's significant rise, issues with positive earnings attracted buying," said Norihiro Fujito, senior investment strategist at Mitsubishi UFJ Morgan Stanley Securities Co.

    The electronics and entertainment giant surged 552 yen, or 6.7 percent, to 8,800 yen after raising Wednesday its profit estimate for the year through next March on the strong performance of its games division.

    Hitachi climbed 89 yen, or 2.5 percent, to 3,636 yen after the industrial conglomerate also upgraded its profit guidance for fiscal 2020 on rising demand for infrastructure projects in China.

    The cloudier global economic outlook due to resurging infections weighed on the energy and raw material sectors, with oil-related issues weakening on falling in crude futures the previous day.

    Idemitsu Kosan declined 47 yen, or 2.2 percent, to 2,100 yen, ENEOS Holdings lost 5.30 yen, or 1.5 percent, to 353.70 yen, and Cosmo Energy Holdings fell 20 yen, or 1.3 percent, to 1,529 yen.

    On the First Section, declining issues outnumbered advancers 1,713 to 383, while 81 ended the morning unchanged.

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