TOKYO, June 15 (Reuters) - Japanese stocks fell on Monday as concerns about a spike in new cases of COVID-19 worldwide poured cold water on hopes of a quick recovery from a coronavirus-driven global recession.
The benchmark Nikkei average dropped 0.50% to 22,194.99 by the midday break, with real estate, airlines and shippers leading declines.
As new coronavirus cases resurfaced in China and the United States, worries about a second wave have deepened, prompting fears about prolonged damage to the economy.
On the Nikkei index, there were 91 advancers against 125 decliners on Monday with cyclical shares leading the losses.
Airlines, one of the hardest-hit victims of the global epidemic, were the biggest decliner among the Tokyo Stock Exchange’s 33 industry subindexes as concerns about the virus reared their head.
Shippers dropped 0.4% and real estate lost 1.4%.
Semi-conductor-related shares were weak, with chip equipment manufacturer Advantest dropping 3.57%, Tokyo Electron losing 2.9% and Screen Holdings shedding 2.7%.
Sapporo Holdings lost 3.7 % after Nomura cut its rating on the beverage firm and lowered the target price, citing the impact of the COVID-19 epidemic.
The broader Topix lost 0.1 % to 1569.60.
The market showed muted response to a barrage of Chinese economic data that were slightly weaker than expected.
Industrial output rose for a second straight month in May but the gain was smaller than expected, suggesting the economy is still struggling to get back on track after the virus crisis.
Reporting by Eimi Yamamitsu, Editing by Hideyuki Sano and Uttaresh.V