SYDNEY, April 13 (Reuters) - Japanese shares fell on Monday as investors worried about the impact of the coronavirus outbreak on corporate earnings, though stocks of key oil exploration firms rose after major producers finally agreed their biggest-ever output cut. benchmark Nikkei average .N225 dropped 2.3% to 19,043.40 on subdued activity.
The volume of shares traded on the main board valued at only 1.65 trillion yen ($15.3 billion), its lowest in almost three months, largely due to the paucity of foreign investors due to the Easter holidays.
Stocks of companies that have postponed their earnings announcements due to the pandemic came under pressure.
Nidec Corp 6594.T fell 1.3% after the electric-motor maker said it will delay its earnings announcement, which was originally scheduled on April 24, but gave no new date.
Sumitomo Electric Industries Ltd 5802.T shed 3.7% after the company also postponed its earnings report by one week to May 19.
Bucking the trend, Yaskawa Electric Corp 6506.T added 0.2% as the company provided a quarterly projection after suspending its earnings guidance for its current financial year. industrial robot producer forecast an operating profit of four billion yen for the March-May period, even though some analysts had projected an operating loss for the quarter.
Aeon Co Ltd 8267.T gained 3.0% after the company said its operating profit may drop as much as 77% in the year ending February as the virus outbreak hits global consumer spending and forces some of its stores to close. said the market liked the fact that the supermarket giant provided a profit guidance even under the current difficult circumstances, while many other firms said they could not give forecasts, citing the ongoing fallout from the COVID-19 respiratory disease.
Recruit Holdings Co Ltd 6098.T dived 8.0% after the Nikkei business daily reported the recruiting company had requested 450 billion yen of credit lines from Japan's three megabanks to help it through the virus outbreak. broader Topix .TOPX fell 1.7% to 1,405.91, with all but two of the 33 sector sub-indexes on the exchange finishing in negative territory.
Elsewhere, Japan's top oil and gas exploration company Inpex Corp 1605.T and Japan Petroleum Exploration Co Ltd 1662.T advanced 1.5% each as oil prices rebounded on Monday after major producers finally agreed their biggest-ever output cut as the pandemic severely curtailed global demand. ($1 = 108 yen)
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