July 20, 2020 / 3:47 AM / 24 days ago

Japanese shares slip on weak export data, falls in U.S. futures

TOKYO, July 20 (Reuters) - Japanese shares fell on Monday, tracking weakness in U.S. stock futures and as Japan’s exports suffered a double-digit decline for the fourth month in a row, rekindling concerns over the extent of economic damage caused by the coronavirus pandemic.

The benchmark Nikkei share average dipped 0.35% to 22,616.23 by the midday break, with 75 advancers on the Nikkei index against 138 decliners.

The broader Topix lost 0.32% to 1,568.85, with all but eight of the 33 sector sub-indexes on the Tokyo exchange trading in the red.

Airlines, textiles and land transport were the three worst performers on the main bourse.

Official data showed Japan’s exports slumped 26.2% in June from a year earlier, bigger than the 24.9% decline expected by economists in a Reuters poll.

Shares of export-oriented automakers underperformed as the data indicated a huge annual decline in U.S.-bound automobile exports.

Nissan Motor Co Ltd dropped 2.96%, while Suzuki Motor Corp and Mitsubishi Motors Corp fell 2.54% and 2.47%, respectively.

In another headwind for the market, e-mini futures for the S&P 500 dipped nearly 0.4% in Asian trade.

Investors also remained cautious about rising coronavirus cases, as more than 14.38 million people have been reported to be infected by the virus globally and 601,961 have died, according to a Reuters tally.

Among gainers, NEC Corp and Fujitsu Ltd rose 2.3% and 2.13% respectively, after the Nikkei business daily reported that the British government named the companies as potential alternative suppliers to Huawei to help build its 5G wireless networks. (Reporting by Eimi Yamamitsu; Editing by Subhranshu Sahu)

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