By Stanley White
TOKYO, Dec 21 (Reuters) - Japanese shares closed lower on Monday, slipping from a 29-1/2-year high hit earlier in the session, as concerns about a spike in domestic coronavirus cases and the emergence of a new strain of the virus in Britain weighed on sentiment.
The Nikkei 225 Index .N225 ended down 0.18% at 26,714.42, after hitting its highest since April 1991 at the opening bell.
The broader Topix .TOPX also fell 0.23% to 1,789.05.
New coronavirus infections have been rising to record levels in Tokyo and other major cities. countries are blocking travel from Britain after a new strain of coronavirus was identified that is up to 70% more infectious. trade negotiations between Britain and the European Union and a rising yen dragging down Japanese exporters also hit sentiment.
The combination of negative factors suggests that Tokyo shares will likely end 2020 on the back foot, after rallying 64% from this year's lows in March.
"Some investors are worried that stocks have been overbought, so it is tempting to book profits in reaction to negative news about the coronavirus," said Kiyoshi Ishigane, chief fund manager at Mitsubishi UFJ Kokusai Asset Management.
Softbank Group 9984.T rose 1.7% after a media report that the company's Vision Fund is preparing to raise between $500 million and $600 million via an initial public offering of its first special purpose acquisition company. were 75 advancers on the Nikkei index against 147 decliners.
The volume of shares traded on the Tokyo Stock Exchange's main board .TOPX was 0.91 billion, compared to the average of 1.34 billion in the past 30 days.
Add Chart to Comment
We encourage you to use comments to engage with users, share your perspective and ask questions of authors and each other. However, in order to maintain the high level of discourse we’ve all come to value and expect, please keep the following criteria in mind:
- Enrich the conversation
- Stay focused and on track. Only post material that’s relevant to the topic being discussed.
- Be respectful. Even negative opinions can be framed positively and diplomatically.
- Use standard writing style. Include punctuation and upper and lower cases.
- NOTE: Spam and/or promotional messages and links within a comment will be removed
- Avoid profanity, slander or personal attacks directed at an author or another user.
- Don’t Monopolize the Conversation. We appreciate passion and conviction, but we also believe strongly in giving everyone a chance to air their thoughts. Therefore, in addition to civil interaction, we expect commenters to offer their opinions succinctly and thoughtfully, but not so repeatedly that others are annoyed or offended. If we receive complaints about individuals who take over a thread or forum, we reserve the right to ban them from the site, without recourse.
- Only English comments will be allowed.
Perpetrators of spam or abuse will be deleted from the site and prohibited from future registration at Investing.com’s discretion.