Japan's Topix ends lower as COVID-19 fears outweigh gains in chip-related shares

  • Reuters
Japan's Topix ends lower as COVID-19 fears outweigh gains in chip-related shares

TOKYO, April 19 (Reuters) - Japan's Topix changed course to close lower on Monday, while the Nikkei ended little changed, as concerns around a resurgence of COVID-19 outweighed gains from chip-related shares.

The broader Topix .TOPX slipped 0.22% to close at 1,956.56, while the Nikkei 225 Index .N225 trimmed gains to end 0.01% higher at 29,685.37.

Japan and the United States agreed last week to cooperate on investment in semiconductor supply chains in response to a global shortage of chips, which is seen as positive for Japanese chemical and industrial companies, analysts said. risks related to the rapid spread of COVID-19 remain. The governor of Tokyo is considering another state of emergency in response to a steady increase in virus cases. And, analysts said, Japan's slow vaccinations' pace is also a negative factor.

"There are several reasons that overseas investors can't decide whether to sell or buy Japanese stocks," said Takatoshi Itoshima, strategist at Pictet Asset Management.

"It is not still clear the impact of the outcome of the summit talks between the U.S. and Japan. We do not know how the Tokyo Olympices will be held, and vaccine rollouts extremely slow here and the virus is spreading again."

Sumco 3436.T , up 5.66%, was the largest percentage gainer on the Nikkei, followed by Yamato Holdings 9064.T gaining 3.32% and Seiko Epson 6724.T up 2.98%.

The largest percentage loser was Shiseido 4911.T , down 4.13%, followed by ANA Holdings 9202.T down 3.64% and Toho 9602.T that fell 3.38%.

Toshiba Corp 6502.T fell 4.35% after the Nikkei reported that private equity firm CVC Capital Partners will delay submitting a formal proposal to buy the Japanese industrial group.

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