Nikkei Posts First Weekly Loss in 6 on Brexit, Virus Worries

TOKYO, Dec 11 (Reuters) – Japan’s Nikkei share average fell on Friday to post its first weekly fall in six, as uncertainties over Brexit, U.S. stimulus and worries over surging COVID-19 cases at home sapped risk appetite.

The Nikkei share average shed 0.39% to close at 26,652.52, losing 0.37% for the week. The broader Topix, however, ended 0.33% higher at 1.782.01 and notched up a 0.34% weekly gain.

Japanese Prime Minister Yoshihide Suga said on Friday the coronavirus situation in the country is tense, but added that he was not thinking of suspending the government travel subsidy programme.

Denting sentiment further, British Prime Minister Boris Johnson said there was “a strong possibility” Britain and the European Union would fail to strike a trade deal.

“With the Brexit deadline on Sunday, the market is curbed by the uncertainties from it,” said Takeo Kamai, head of execution services at investment firm CLSA.

Near-term U.S. fiscal stimulus appears unlikely after Democrat House Speaker Nancy Pelosi suggested wrangling over a spending package and coronavirus aid could drag on through Christmas.

Nikkei heavyweight SoftBank Group dropped 4.7% after two days of massive gains that stemmed from a report of a possible buyback of shares and the successful initial public offering of DoorDash.

However, Toyota Motor rose 4.6% as investors welcomed the revamp of its Mirai hydrogen fuel cell car, at a time when the government has stepped up measures to cut carbon emissions.

Nintendo added 2.3% as rising COVID-19 infections rekindled interest in shares that tend to benefit from tougher social restrictions.

Advancers outnumbered decliners by a ratio of 2-1, supported by hopes of economic recovery as COVID-19 vaccines look set to be rolled out in many countries.

(Reporting by Hideyuki Sano; Editing by Ramakrishnan M.)

Source: Reuters

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