TOKYO: Tokyo stocks closed lower Monday on the war in Ukraine and concern over surging Covid-19 cases in China.
The benchmark Nikkei 225 index was down 1.08 percent, or 293.48 points, to end at 26,799.71, while the broader Topix index slipped 0.86 percent, or 16.23 points, to 1,880.08, reports AFP.
"With investors spooked by growing tensions linked to the Ukraine situation and surging Covid cases in China, the Nikkei started trading sharply lower," Okasan Online Securities said.
The sell-off then spread, particularly among growth stocks, and at one point the market hit lows that Toshikazu Horiuchi, a broker at IwaiCosmo Securities, called "greater than anticipated".
Rising US yields and climbing oil prices also contributed to the falls, Horiuchi told AFP.
Many Japanese companies announce their earnings next week, a factor which added to investors' reservations over buying stocks, he said.
SoftBank Group gave up 0.68 percent to 5,653 yen, Sony Group lost 0.66 percent to 11,140 yen and Toyota inched down 0.23 percent to 2,155 yen. Uniqlo operator Fast Retailing declined 1.24 percent to 64,000 yen and Toshiba slipped 0.84 percent to 5,056 yen. Drugmaker Shionogi was down 0.35 percent at 6,786 yen after a report said the Japanese health ministry may apply an emergency approval rule for its Covid pill.