The Japan share market finished session lower on Monday, 10 February 2020, as investors continued to lock in profits amid concerns over the new coronavirus epidemic. At closing bell, the 225-issue Nikkei Stock Average declined 142 points, or 0.6%, to 23,685.98, while the broader Topix index of all First Section issues on the Tokyo Stock Exchange dropped 12.50 points, or 0.72%, at 1,719.64. Japanese financial markets will be closed on Tuesday for a public holiday.
The Tokyo market opened lower, with sentiment soured by a Wall Street downturn Friday after the U. S. Federal Reserve, in its congressional report, cited the fallout from the spreading coronavirus outbreak chiefly in China as a possible economic risk. Toward noon, stocks cut losses thanks to buybacks induced by Chinese shares' resilience.
But trading turned lackluster in the afternoon due to a dearth of fresh incentives and ahead of holiday on Tuesday for a public holiday.
E-commerce giant Rakuten dropped 1.5% after Japan's antitrust watchdog reportedly raided its offices over claims it forced online traders to shoulder free delivery costs.
SoftBank Group gained 1.5% after surging more than 7% on Friday on news that US hedge fund Elliott Management has built a more-than-US$2.5 billion stake in the group.
East Japan Railway lost 1.1% after it suffered a technical glitch with its ticketing system Monday morning.
ECONOMIC NEWS: Japan Posts Y524.0 Current Account Surplus In December- Japan posted a current account surplus of 524.0 billion yen in December, up 12.8 percent on year, the Ministry of Finance said on Monday, following the 1,436.8 billion yen surplus in November. The trade balance reflected a surplus of 120.7 billion yen, following the 2.5 billion yen deficit a month earlier. The adjusted current account balance showed a surplus of 1,714.7 billion yen, down from 1,794.9 billion yen in the previous month.
Japanese Economic Conditions Improve In January Indicates Eco Watchers Survey- Japan's Eco Watchers Survey, a measure of the public assessment of the Japanese economy improved for the third month in a row in January, survey data from the Cabinet Office showed on Monday. The current conditions index of the Economy Watchers' Survey, which measures the current situation of the economy, increased to 41.9 in January from 39.7 in December. However, the outlook index that signals future activity fell to a four-month low of 41.8 in January from 45.5 in the previous month.
CURRENCY NEWS: The Japanese yen, often viewed as a safe-haven currency in times of economic uncertainty, little softer against a basket of currencies. The Japanese yen traded at 109.77 per dollar after seeing an earlier high of 109.55.
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