Japanese stocks track Dow lower, chip shares limit fall

TOKYO, Nov 22 (Reuters) – Japanese stocks fell on Monday, tracking the Dow’s losses at the end of last week amid renewed coronavirus concerns, while chip-related shares followed their U.S. peers higher.

The Nikkei share average fell 0.23% to 29,677.95 by the midday break, while the broader Topix slipped 0.34% to 2,037.59.

Pandemic jitters sent the Dow Jones Industrial Average to its fourth losing session in five on Friday, while the tech-heavy Nasdaq Composite Index surged.

Broader investor sentiment was also hit as Austria announced new restrictions to deal with rising COVID-19 cases, while there were fears Germany could follow suit.

“Investor sentiment was weighed down by the Dow’s decline, which was hurt by concerns over the resurgence of COVID-19,” said Shoichi Arisawa, general manager of the investment research department at IwaiCosmo Securities.

“The hurdle for the Nikkei to climb over the 30,000 level is getting higher as investors seem to be under pressure to sell stocks when the Nikkei moves closer to that level.”

Oil explorers led the declines as COVID-19 worries sent oil prices lower, with Inpex losing 5.09% and Japan Petroleum Exploration slipping 0.97%.

Shares that would benefit from an economic reopening fell, with airlines shedding 1.66% and railways losing 0.77%.

Chip-related shares rose, with Advantest and Tokyo Electron up 1.25% and 0.25%, respectively.

Japan Steel Works rose 4.87% and was the biggest percentage gainer on the Nikkei, followed by Nippon Electric Glass Co Ltd, up 3.98%, and Nippon Sheet Glass , which climbed 3.37%.

Among the biggest percentage losers, Nissan Motor fell 2.99% and Ricoh dropped 2.89%.

There were 78 advancers on the Nikkei index against 140 decliners. (Editing by Subhranshu Sahu)