Tokyo stocks fell sharply early in trading on Thursday, against a backdrop of losses on Wall Street the day before and growing concerns around the world about the health consequences of China’s imminent reopening of borders.
The flagship Nikkei index lost 0.98% to 26,082.94 points after 01:00 GMT and the broader Topix index lost 0.86% to 1,892.69 points.
The three major indexes of the New York Stock Exchange all fell more than 1% on Wednesday, reflecting investor pessimism about the economic outlook in 2023.
The announcement earlier this week of China’s reopening, which will end mandatory quarantines for travelers arriving in the country from January 8, was welcomed by financial markets. But the risk of negative consequences begins to weigh more and more.
The United States will require a negative Covid test for all travelers from China due to the explosion in the number of cases in this country and the “lack” of information communicated by Beijing, American health authorities announced Wednesday, thus imitating the measures already taken from other countries such as Japan and Italy.
Faced with great uncertainty about the extent of the health crisis in China, investors must prepare for the “worst-case scenario”, estimated Takashi Ito, strategist at Nomura Securities quoted by the Bloomberg agency.
On the side of values
CHINESE SHADOWS: Japanese stocks whose financial performance is particularly dependent on the Chinese market, such as the ready-to-wear giant Fast Retailing (-1.81% at 79,940 yen) and the cosmetics group Shiseido (-2.55 % to 6,377 yen) yen).
On the side of currencies and oil
The yen appreciated significantly against the dollar, which fell to 133.80 yen after 1:00 GMT versus 134.47 yen on Wednesday at 21:00 GMT.
The Japanese currency also rose against the euro, which was worth 142.20 yen against 142.70 yen the day before.
The euro was higher against the greenback, to trade one euro at $1.0627 versus 1.0612 on Wednesday at 21:00 GMT.
The oil market continued to fall in Asia on Thursday morning: around 01:00 GMT, the barrel of US WTI dropped 0.46% to 78.60 dollars.