TOKYO, April 14 (Reuters) - Japanese shares edged lower on Wednesday, dragged down by materials stocks, as mounting new COVID-19 cases have cast doubt over an economic rebound, while concerns over falling rates pushed shares of banks and insurers lower.
"The expectations for the reopening of the economy shrank because rollouts of vaccines in Japan is much slower than other countries, while the number of new COVID-19 cases is on the rise," said Shoichi Arisawa, general manager of the investment research department at IwaiCosmo Securities.
"The interest rates could fall if the economy slows down. That has sent bank and insurer shares lower today."
Japan's western region of Osaka on Tuesday reported a record 1,099 new cases of coronavirus infections as a highly contagious variant is driving a fourth wave. market sentiment was also hit by the overnight fall in the Dow Jones Industrial Average .DJI amid the news on a pause in Johnson & Johnson (NYSE: JNJ )'s JNJ.N COVID-19 vaccine rollout. .ITXTL.T and papers .IPAPR.T led declines on the main bourse, with clothing materials maker Toray Industries 3402.T falling 3.71%, making it the biggest loser on the Nikkei.
Toshiba 6502.T surged 6.86% amid reports of more plans of bids for the conglomerate and expectations that its embattled chief executive would soon resign. were 57 advancers on the Nikkei index against 165 decliners.
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