Tokyo stocks close lower on virus worries

Tokyo stocks closed lower on Wednesday amid concerns over the increase in new coronavirus cases in the capital, as Japan's top government spokesman warned a state of emergency could be re-imposed.

The benchmark Nikkei 225 index shed 0.75 percent, or 166.41 points, to end at 22,121.73 while the broader Topix index fell 1.29 percent, or 20.16 points, to 1,538.61.

"Regarding the spread of new coronavirus infections in Tokyo, the Chief Cabinet Secretary said a state of emergency could be re-issued in the worst case scenario," noted Yoshihiro Ito, chief strategist at Okasan Online Securities.

Tokyo reported 67 new cases on Wednesday, the highest since May 4 and the daily number of new cases has been hovering around 50 since last week.

Suga said the state of emergency, lifted on May 25, could be re-imposed but only if the number of infections continued to increase despite preventive measures.

In Tokyo, pharmaceuticals and automakers were lower.

Takeda Pharmaceutical dropped 2.15 percent to 3,765 yen and Astellas 3.36 percent to 1,739 yen.

Toyota lost 1.56 percent to 6,656 yen and its rival Honda 2.03 percent to 2,699.5 yen.

SoftBank Group rose 1.85 percent to 5,551 yen while Uniqlo casual wear operator Fast Retailing dipped 0.30 percent to 61,510 yen.

The dollar fetched 107.66 yen in Asian trade, against 107.97 yen in New York Tuesday afternoon.

Investors largely shrugged off weak business confidence data before the opening bell that showed large companies were the gloomiest about their prospects since the financial crisis in 2009.

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