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Tokyo stocks close lower on profit-taking

·1-min read

Tokyo stocks closed lower on Friday as profit-taking overwhelmed bargain-hunting among shares with sound earnings, amid lingering worries over the global coronavirus pandemic.

The benchmark Nikkei 225 index was down 1.52 percent or 354.81 points at 22,977.13 at the close. Over the week, the index lost 2.3 percent.

The broader Topix index slipped 1.96 percent or 31.60 points to 1,579.33. Over the week, the index lost 2.8 percent.

Afternoon trade in Tokyo was "dominated by a wait-and-see attitude as US stocks futures declined, with no reason to buy back seen" by investors, Okasan Online Securities chief strategist Yoshihiro Ito said in a commentary.

"Bargain hunting of shares with good earnings results were overshadowed by profit-taking sales," he said.

The dollar fetched 104.19 yen in Asian trade, against 104.60 yen in New York late Thursday.

In Tokyo, Japan Airlines ended down 3.74 percent at 1,817 yen. After the market close, JAL said it has posted a 145.4 billion yen ($1.4 billion) net loss for the first half to September, on a 74 percent sales decline year-on-year.

Mitsubishi Heavy Industries was down 1.61 percent at 2,234.5 yen.

After the market close, MHI said it will suspend its regional jet project due partly to uncertainties over demand in the market hit by the coronavirus.

It also posted a 50.1 billion yen ($480 million) net loss for the first six months to September.

Japan's unemployment rate stood at 3.0 percent in September, against market expectations of 3.1 percent, according to data released by the internal affairs ministry before the opening bell.