TOKYO, July 16 Reuters Japans benchmark Nikkei share average dipped below the psychologically key 28,000 mark on Friday as tech shares tracked declines on Wall Street overnight, while a continued surge in coronavirus infections dented investor sentiment.
New COVID19 infections leapt to 1,308 in Tokyo on Thursday, the highest since January, a week before the city hosts the Olympics, which could potentially spark a renewed surge in infections amid the influx of foreign athletes and officials.
New cases have already surpassed the peak of the fourth wave in May, and we could see the number rising above the January peak, said Norihiro Fujito, chief investment strategist at Mitsubishi UFJ Morgan Stanley Securities.
It is hard to expect the surge in infections to subside any time soon, which obviously delays Japans economic recovery. That is what markets are pricing in now.
The techheavy Nikkei fell as low as 27,847.35 before closing the session 1 down at 28,003.08, tracking Nasdaq Compositeled declines in U.S. shares.
Among components, chipmakers Advantest and Tokyo Electron lost 2.2 and 1.6, respectively, after rival TSMC signalled plans to build new factories in the United States and Japan, and expand production capacity in China.
Camera manufacturers Nikon Corp and Olympus fell 2 and 1.4, respectively, while Sony Group Corp sank 2.2.
The Nikkeis biggest decliner was Eisai, which fell 13 after some large hospitals declined to use an Alzheimers drug similar to the…