Japan’s Nikkei ends lower even as tourism stocks shine

By Sam Byford

TOKYO, October 17 (Reuters)Japanese stocks fell on Monday, following Wall Street’s fall from the previous session as investors braced for more signals of a global recession, although tourism-related stocks performed well after borders reopened in the week. last.

Japan’s Nikkei stock average dipped well below the key psychological barrier of 27,000 at the open and closed down 1.16% at 26,775.79. The index stabilized in the afternoon, supported by positive US stock futures.

The broader Topix index .TOPX fell 0.98%.

The Nikkei posted its biggest percentage gain since March on Friday. “We expect the market to be softer today in reaction to this,” Nomura Securities strategist Maki Sawada said in a briefing with reporters, adding that data on U.S. consumer sentiment Friday pushes stock prices down again.

High-growth stocks detracted the most from the index, with online medical services company M3 Inc 2413.T down 3.9%, Fast Retailing Co Ltd down 1.28% and SoftBank Group Corp 9984.T lose 1.79%.

Department stores were among the best performers in the Nikkei. Shares of Isetan Mitsukoshi Holdings Ltd 3099.T jumped 4.48%, Takashimaya Co Ltd 8233.T increased by 3.16%, and J.Front Retailing Co Ltd 3086.T gained 2.14%.

“We believe the expectation for a recovery in inbound demand continues,” Nomura’s Sawada said. “On TV news this weekend, you could see images of foreigners with suitcases buying in bulk, partly because of the weak yen.”

Japan last week restored visa-free travel to dozens of countries, ending some of the world’s strictest border controls to slow the spread of COVID-19. Prime Minister Fumio Kishida is counting on tourism to help reinvigorate the economy and capitalize on the yen’s plunge to its lowest level in decades.

Shipping Company Kawasaki Kisen Kaisha Ltd 9107.T, which also operates a travel agency, gained the most on the Nikkei with a rise of 6.61%. Par shares Mitsui OSK Lines Ltd 9104.T increased by 3.76%.

Rail and airline companies have also increased. Air Transport .IAIRL.TLand transportation .IRAIL.T and sea transport .ISHIP.T were the only three sectors to progress on the overall Topix index.

Fujifilm Holdings Corp. 4901.T fell by 0.56% following the announcement he would stop working on Avigan as a treatment for COVID-19. Japan had ordered the company to triple its stockpile of flu drugs at the start of the pandemic.

Of the 225 Nikkei voters, 37 won, 183 fell and five traded flat.

(Reporting by Sam Byford; Editing by Sherry Jacob-Phillips)

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