TOKYO: Tokyo stocks ended lower Wednesday, with the benchmark Nikkei stock index closing at a four-month low, as concerns the spread of the COVID-19 virus could hamper the global economy dented investor sentiment.
The 225-issue Nikkei Stock Average dropped 179.22 points, or 0.79 percent, from Tuesday to close the day at 22,426.19, marking its lowest closing level since Oct. 15.The broader Topix index of all First Section issues on the Tokyo Stock Exchange, meanwhile, lost 12.09 points, or 0.75 percent, to finish at 1,606.17.
Tokyo stocks came under pressure from the get-go as the market inherited a weak lead from U.S. and European markets overnight on concerns over the spread of the COVID-19 virus, local brokers said, reports Xinhua.
They added, however, that the market gained some support in the afternoon by Shanghai stocks staging a rebound at one point, while investors here speculated the Bank of Japan (BOJ) may have bought exchange traded funds (ETFs) as part of its easing measures.
"After seeing Shanghai equities recovering, some speculators bought back Tokyo shares perceiving their reasonable prices," Yutaka Miura, senior technical analyst at Mizuho Securities Co., was quoted as saying.
"But as the virus spread has entered a new phase any increase in infection cases would further dent stock markets," Miura said.