Japan’s Nikkei index ended lower overnight snapping eight consecutive sessions of gains, as investor sentiment was knocked by concerns around resurging new cases of Covid-19 both at home and abroad.
The benchmark Nikkei share average dropped 0.53 per cent to 25,385.87.
The index moved further away from a near three-decade high hit in the previous sessions, but later pared losses to end closer to the 29-year high.
For the week, the Nikkei index gained 4.36 per cent, largely thanks to the economic-recovery optimism fuelled by a promising vaccine trial data.
The broader Topix eased 1.33 per cent to 1,703.33. All but one of the 33 sector sub-indexes on the Tokyo exchange ended lower.
Wall Street’s main indexes closed sharply lower overnight as daily US Covid-19 infections surged above 100,000 for an eighth consecutive day, and investors weighed the timeline for the mass rollout of an effective virus vaccine.
Japan reported a record high of 1,634 new cases on Thursday, a Japanese broadcaster said.
Risers and fallers
Airlines dropped nearly 3.6 per cent as investors worried that another spike in virus cases could lead to renewed movement restrictions.
ANA Holdings slipped 4.8 per cent and Japan Airlines lost 1.92 per cent.
Land transport also took a hit, with railroad companies such as Kintetsu Group Holdings, Sotetsu Holdings and Central Japan Railway Co down between 3.6 per cent and 6.8 per cent.
Some stay-at-home stocks were bought instead, with Nintendo and Sony Corp rising 1.08 per cent and 1.81 per cent, respectively.