June 25, 2020 / 7:20 AM / 11 days ago

Japanese shares hit 1-1/2-week low on virus resurgence fears

SYDNEY, June 25 (Reuters) - Japanese stocks ended at a more than one-week low on Thursday, tracking losses on Wall Street, as rising coronavirus cases in the United States and many other countries dented hopes of a quick global economic recovery.

The benchmark Nikkei average fell 1.2% to 22,259.79, its lowest closing level since June 15.

Highly cyclical air transport, non-ferrous metals and iron and steel were among the worst performing sectors on the main bourse.

Overnight, Wall Street’s three major indexes suffered their biggest daily percentage drop in almost two weeks as a surge in coronavirus cases intensified fears of another round of government lockdowns and worsening economic damage.

E-mini futures for the S&P 500 index were last quoted down 0.5% in late Asian trade.

The broader Topix shed 1.2% to 1,561.85, its lowest closing since June 15, with all but one of the 33 sector sub-indexes on the Tokyo exchange finishing lower.

Blue-chip exporters led the declines, with Toyota Motor Corp shedding 2.6%, while Panasonic Corp and Nikon Corp lost 3.8% and 3.1%, respectively.

SoftBank Group Corp slipped 0.5% as its founder and chief executive Masayoshi Son on Thursday told shareholders not to expect dividends for some time while share buyback plan is in progress.

Bucking the overall weakness, Olympus Corp surged 11.2% to hit a four-month high after the company said on Wednesday it had agreed to sell its historic but unprofitable camera business to Japan Industrial Partners Inc.

Analysts said the decision came as a positive surprise.

NEC Corp advanced 2.4% after the company said on Thursday it would discuss forming a capital alliance with telecommunications company Nippon Telegraph and Telephone (NTT) at its board meeting later in the day. Shares of NTT slipped 0.7%. (Reporting by Tomo Uetake; Editing by Amy Caren Daniel and Rashmi Aich)

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