06:38 AM EDT, 10/16/2020 (MT Newswires) -- The Nikkei 225 fell 0.4% as investors faced a jump in COVID-19 cases in Europe and a stronger yen, regarded as a negative in export-oriented Japan. Britain, France, Spain and other neighboring countries have re-imposed restrictions to curb the surge in coronavirus outbreaks. Tech stocks held even, while bank stocks slipped.
The Nikkei 225 fell 96.60 to 23,410.63, as losing issues outnumbered gainers 190 to 33.
On the downside was diversified tech outfit Screen Holdings (DINRF, 7735:Tokyo), off 4.2%. Power and telecommunications equipment manufacturer Fujikura Electric (5803:Tokyo) fell 3.8%.
Leading the thin upside was Fast Retailing (FRCOY, 9983:Tokyo), up 4.2% as the parent of clothing maker Uniqlo issued an upbeat profit projection Thursday. Utility Tokyo Electric Power, aka Tepco (TKECF, 9501:Tokyo), gained 2.8%, and Fujifilm (FUJIY, 4901:Tokyo) rose 2.5%.
The Nikkei 225 has lost 1% year-to-date.
In economic news, an index of business services in Japan rose 0.8% in August, the third straight month of gains, but is still off 8.5% year-over-year, according to government data Thursday.
The Index of Tertiary Industry Activity, which measures the value of business services produced, showed increases in value produced in August in retail trade, utilities, medical services, and advertising, the Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry reported. There was still declining activity in August in segments such as computer programming and software, finance, and railway transportation.
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