The Japan share market finished lower for straight session on Friday, 14 February 2020, as risk-off selloff continued on tracking weak lead from Wall Street overnight and on news of further coronavirus infections in Japan, including the first fatal case. At closing bell, the 225-issue Nikkei Stock Average declined 140.14 points, or 0.59%, to 23,687.59, while the broader Topix index of all First Section issues on the Tokyo Stock Exchange dropped 10.21 points, or 0.6%, at 1,702.87.
Investor sentiment was dampened by the health ministry's announcement Thursday that a Japanese woman in her 80s who died was later found to have the virus, becoming Japan's first confirmed COVID-19 fatality.
Investors continued to watch for developments on the coronavirus outbreak following Thursday's spike in the number of cases reported after Hubei changed the way cases are diagnosed. On Friday, the province reported an additional 116 deaths and 4,823 new confirmed cases as of the end of Feb. 13.
Nissan tumbled 9.64% as the automaker's operating profit for April-December 2019 and operating profit outlook for the full year ending next month fell short of the market consensus. The company cut its annual operating income forecast by more than 40%.
Beverage maker Asahi Group dropped 1.88%.
Its lower-than-expected operating profit and net profit for the full year to December caused disappointment.
Silicon wafer producer Sumco jumped 6.86% thanks to its better-than-expected operating profit for the year to December.
Shares of Japan's Toshiba jumped 2.27% despite posting a 145.626 billion yen loss attributable to shareholders of the company ($1.326 billion) in the nine months ended Dec. 31.
ECONOMIC NEWS: Japan Tertiary Industry Activity Falls 0.2% On Month In December- Japan's tertiary industry activity index fell 0.2 percent month-on-month in December, data from the Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry showed on Friday. Among the major industries, transport and postal activities, wholesale trade, business services, finance and insurance, goods rental business, and electricity, gas, heat supply, water supply declined in December. Meanwhile, retail trade, living and amusement-related services, medical, health care and welfare, information and communication industry, and real estate business increased. On a yearly basis, the tertiary industry activity declined 0.8 percent in December
CURRENCY NEWS: The Japanese yen, often viewed as a safe-haven currency in times of economic uncertainty, appreciated against a basket of currencies. The Japanese yen traded at 109.78 per dollar after seeing levels around 109.9 yesterday.
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