Nikkei off 29-1/2-year high as coronavirus fears sap sentiment

  • Reuters
Nikkei off 29-1/2-year high as coronavirus fears sap sentiment

TOKYO, Nov 13 (Reuters) - Japan's Nikkei share average retreated slightly from a near 29-1/2-year high on Friday, tracking Wall Street lower, as investor sentiment was knocked by concerns around resurging new cases of the novel coronavirus both at home and abroad.

The benchmark Nikkei share average .N225 dropped 1.08% to 25,245.92 by the midday break, having hit its highest level since June 5, 1991 in the previous session.

The Nikkei is also set to snap an eight-day winning streak, but, it is still on course for a near 4% weekly gain, largely thanks to the economic-recovery optimism fuelled by a promising vaccine trial data.

The broader Topix .TOPX lost 1.67% to 1,697.43. All 33 sector sub-indexes on the Tokyo exchange traded lower.

Wall Street's main indexes closed sharply lower overnight as daily U.S. COVID-19 infections surged above 100,000 for an eighth consecutive day, and investors weighed the timeline for the mass rollout of an effective virus vaccine. .N

Japan reported a record high of 1,634 new cases on Thursday, a Japanese broadcaster said. .IAIRL.T dropped nearly 4%, as investors worried that another spike in virus cases could lead to renewed restrictions.

ANA Holdings 9202.T slipped more than 5% and Japan Airlines 9201.T lost 2.4%.

Land transport .IRAIL.T also took a hit, with railroad companies such as Kintetsu Group Holdings 9041.T , Sotetsu Holdings 9003.T and Central Japan Railway Co 9022.T down between 4.4% and 6.5%.

Rakuten 4755.T fell more than 2.6% after it posted an operating loss of 60.52 billion yen for the nine months ended Sept. 30. Motor 7201.T climbed as much as 8% in early trade after cutting its annual operating loss forecast by 28% on Thursday.

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