Tokyo stocks close lower with eyes on earnings

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Shanghai markets
Shanghai markets
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Tokyo stocks closed lower on Friday with investors keeping a close eye on corporate earnings reports.

The benchmark Nikkei 225 index closed down 0.41% or 96.60 points at 23 410.63 in early trade, while the broader Topix index slipped 0.86% or 14.10 points to 1 617.69.

"Even though worries over fresh waves of coronavirus infections in Europe are weighing on the market, investors took a step aside from active selling ahead of a full-blown corporate earnings report season," Mizuho Securities said in a commentary.

European countries have unveiled tough new measures to try to curb a surge in coronavirus cases that has prompted "great concern" from the World Health Organization.

Meanwhile US presidential candidate Joe Biden's running mate Kamala Harris suspended travel after a staffer contracted the disease, while EU chief Ursula von der Leyen abruptly left a summit in Brussels for a similar reason.

Uniqlo casual wear operator Fast Retailing climbed 4.27% to ¥73 430 after the company forecast profits growing this fiscal year slightly beyond analysts' expectations.

Among other shares in Tokyo, Sony was down 1.99% at ¥7 603 and Toyota was down 1.24% at ¥6 829.

Fujifilm closed up 2.51% at ¥5 466 after it said it has applied to the health ministry for its flu drug Avigan to be approved as a treatment for Covid-19 in Japan.

The dollar fetched ¥105.26 in Asian trade, against ¥105.42 in New York late Thursday.

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