SYDNEY (Reuters) – Japanese stocks fell after returning from a long holiday on Thursday, as airlines shares topped the low sectors list, with sentiment hurt by Tokyo’s move to extend the emergency and grim US economic data.
And the broader Topix index fell 0.32 percent to 1,426.73 points, while the air and land transport sectors were among the three worst affected sectors in the stock market, as they fell 6.8 percent and 2.9 percent, respectively.
Japan extended the nationwide state of emergency on Monday, confirming expectations that demand for travel is unlikely to recover soon.
Markets in Japan were closed Monday through Wednesday due to a number of public holidays.
On Thursday, Japan Airlines shares shed 6.9 percent, and ANA Holdings lost 6.7 percent, with corresponding airlines in the United States falling earlier in the week on news that billionaire billionaire Warren Buffett sold his full stake in the top four American carriers.
“The world has changed” in the aviation industry, Buffett said at the annual Berkshire Hathaway annual meeting.
Highlighting the impact of the Corona virus outbreak, data on Wednesday night showed that US private sector employers released a record 20.236 million employees in April.
Morale was also damaged by renewed tensions between the United States and China after US President Donald Trump threatened to impose new duties on China over its initial handling of the emerging corona virus.
Meanwhile, the benchmark Nikkei rose 0.28 percent to 19674.77, supported by gains in semiconductor-linked stocks.
Tokyo Electron, a chip maker, was up 3.2 percent, and Advantest, a maker of test equipment, added 3.3 percent, following gains by US counterparts.
Heavybank group shares fell 2.5 percent after WeiWork Adam Newman founder filed a lawsuit against the technology giant and its vision fund for canceling a $ 3 billion bid for shareholders of the startup company engaged in sharing office space.