July 7, 2022

Investors locking in gains amid subdued trading ahead of the Christmas holidays leads Tokyo stocks to end ended slightly lower on Friday.

SMBC Trust Bank, head of investment research, Masahiro Yamaguchi commented that although investor sentiment has been lifted by studies on Omicron and the recent approval of some COVID-19 drugs in the United States, the rise in coronavirus cases in Europe and the United States continues to put obstacle on the festive mood ahead of the Christmas holidays.

He continued to mention that reports of multiple Omicron cases with unknown routes in the country had a limited effect on stocks as investors’ awaited clarity regarding government measures to tackle a potential resurgence of COVID-19 infections.

Market summary –

• On Friday, the 225-issue Nikkei Stock Average close down 15.78 points, or 0.05 percent at 28,782.59.
• On the Tokyo Stock Exchange, the broader Topix index of all First Section issues finished 2.65 points, or 0.13 percent, lower at 1,986.78.
• Stocks issues declined in companies led by insurance, land transportation, and electric power and gas.
• As investors saw the yen as a safe haven asset, the U.S. dollar maintained ground in the lower 114 yen range. It was sold as fears over the Omicron variant of the coronavirus receded.
• Multiple reports that the Omicron variant may be less likely to cause hospitalizations compared with other coronavirus strains led the Nikkei index to open higher.
• However, in the afternoon, the benchmark after advancing more than 800 points over the last three trading days toward the 29,000 line moved into negative territory on Friday trading.
• High-tech shares such as Tokyo Electron and Fanuc supported the market’s downside.
• Among technology issues Tokyo Electron stocks was up 760 yen, or 1.2 percent, at 64,260 yen, Screen Holdings stocks gained 340 yen, or 2.8 percent, to 12,400 yen, and Fanuc stocks rose 110 yen, or 0.5 percent, to 24,155 yen.
• After reports came in that trading firm, Mitsui was being sued by Nippon Steel Corp. for patent infringement, its stocks declined to 16.5 yen, or 0.6 percent, to 2,693.0 yen.
• On the First Section, declining issues outnumbered advancers 1,173 to 884, while 127 ended unchanged.
• Volume on the main section fell to 746.72 million shares on Friday trading.