TOKYO, Oct 29 (Reuters) - Japanese shares fell to a one-month low on Thursday as the return of coronavirus lockdowns in France and Germany put a damper on investor sentiment only days before the U.S. presidential election.
The Nikkei 225 Index fell 0.74% to 23,245.98 by 0144 GMT. The Nikkei earlier touched its lowest level since Oct. 2. The broader Topix was down 0.48% at 1,604.84.
Japanese shares took the lead from a sharp fall in U.S. and European stocks after France and Germany, Europe’s two-largest economies, were forced back into lockdown to contain a second wave of coronavirus infections.
Some investors were also reluctant to buy equities and other risky assets due to uncertainty about the Nov. 3 election in the United States.
However, declines in Tokyo shares were limited as some individual companies rose due to an improving earnings outlook.
The underperformers among the Topix 30 were Shin-Etsu Chemical Co Ltd and job placement company Recruit Holdings Co Ltd, which fell about 2% each.
The stocks that gained the most among the top 30 core Topix names were consumer electronics maker Sony Corp up 6.38%, followed by industrial conglomerate Hitachi Ltd gaining 2.9%.
Both Sony and Hitachi rose after raising their earnings forecasts, which suggests Japanese companies are likely to weather another dip in global economic activity, analysts said.
There were 51 advancers on the Nikkei index against 170 decliners.
The volume of shares traded on the Tokyo Stock Exchange’s main board was 0.39 billion, compared to the average of 1.05 billion in the past 30 days. (Reporting by Stanley White; Editing by Amy Caren Daniel)
Our Standards: The Thomson Reuters Trust Principles.