Nikkei declines as COVID-19 worries mount; game makers slide

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    TOKYO (Aug 3): Japan’s Nikkei index fell on Tuesday along with other global stock markets as rising cases of COVID-19 weighed on sentiment, while video game makers dropped after Chinese media labelled online gaming as “spiritual opium.”

    The Nikkei share average slid 0.8%, dragged by a 8.71% plunge in online game producer Nexon.

    Konami Holdings dropped 3.39%, DeNA fell 2.64%, Bandai Namco Holdings sank 2.62% and Sony Group slipped 1.52%.

    Nintendo, which isn’t a part of the Nikkei 225, was the biggest loser in the 30 core Topix components, retreating 2.16%.

    Overall, the broad Topix sank 0.7%.

    In China, gaming companies Tencent Holdings and Netease Inc declined after state media said many teenagers are addicted to online games, with a huge negative impact on their growth.

    Chinese markets were also lower as the Delta coronavirus variant spread from the mainland’s coast to inland cities.

    Wall Street stocks too closed lower overnight as investors worried about the U.S. recovery after cases spiked.

    Meanwhile, Japan is grappling with its own fifth wave, centred on Tokyo — currently the host of the Olympics. New cases surged to a record 12,340 on the last day of July, and remained elevated in August, with more than 8,000 infections on Monday.

    Airlines were the worst performers among Topix subsectors, dropping 2.28%.

    Mining slid 2.05%, followed by iron and steel and oil and coal producers that slipped 1.9% and 1.81% respectively.

    Amid worsening investor sentiment, “any uptick in prices is likely to trigger selling,” said Koichi Nosaka, a market analyst at Securities Japan, Inc.

    The biggest loser on the Topix was auto parts supplier GMB , which slumped 15.83% following disappointing earnings.

    E-Guardian surged 15.71% following its results.

    M&A adviser GCA was bid but hadn’t traded after U.S. boutique investment bank Houlihan Lokey launched a tender offer to acquire the Japanese company.

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