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Japan Market loses ground after recent winning streak

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Japan share market finished session lower on Thursday, 21 May 2020, as investors elected to book profit made in last four sessions, amid weaker than expected Japanese economic data and concerns over U. S.-China tensions concerning the coronavirus pandemic.

At closing bell, the 225-issue Nikkei Stock Average declined 42.84 points, or 0.21%, to 20,552.31. The broader Topix index of all First Section issues on the Tokyo Stock Exchange slipped 3.48 points, or 0.23%, at 1,491.21.

Total 16 issues of 33 industry category of Topix index ended in positive territory, with Glass & Ceramics Products, Mining, Marine Transportation, Oil & Coal Products, and Iron & Steel issues being notable gainers, while Land Transportation, Rubber Products, Fishery, Agriculture & Forestry, and Information & Communication issues were notable losers.

The Tokyo market commenced trading with firm footing, following the overnight rally on Wall Street and partly due to moves to reopen businesses spreading across the United States following coronavirus lockdowns and on optimism about a state of emergency being lifted in western Japan later today.

But stocks surrendered their gains toward noon as investors were moderately disappointed by weaker than expected Japanese economic data. Investors were also disappointed by a Japanese government advisory panel's judgment Thursday that the state of emergency for the pandemic should remain in place in Tokyo and neighboring Saitama, Chiba and Kanagawa prefectures, but not in three major western prefectures including Osaka.

The market was also weighed on by heightened fears about tensions between the United States and China over the way Beijing dealt with the coronavirus outbreak in the initial stage, after U. S.

President Donald Trump blamed China for waging a massive disinformation campaign in his latest Twitter post.

ECONOMIC NEWS: Japan Manufacturing PMI Contracts In May- Japan manufacturing sector continued to contract in May, with a manufacturing PMI score of 31.7, the latest survey from Jibun Bank revealed on Thursday. That's down from 34.7 in April and it moves further beneath the boom or bust line of 50 that separates expansion from contraction. The report also showed that the services PMI improved to 25.3 in May, up from the record low 21.5 in April but still well below the line for expansion. The composite Index came in with a score of 27.4 in May, up from 25.8 a month earlier.

Japan Trade Deficit Swells To Y930.401 Billion In April- Japan merchandise trade deficit came in at 930.401 billion yen in April, the Ministry of Finance said on Thursday, following the 4.9 billion yen surplus in March. Exports plummeted 21.9% on year, following the 11.7% decline in the previous month. Imports were down an annual 7.2% versus expectations for a drop of 12.9% after slipping 5% a month earlier.

CURRENCY: The Japanese yen traded at 107.83 per dollar after touching levels below 107.5 yesterday.

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(This story has not been edited by Business Standard staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)

First Published: Thu, May 21 2020. 14:38 IST