In Japan, as investors returned after a day off, the stock market fell slightly over the weekend on Friday. Strong price gains in the chip sector and automaker Toyota kept the loss limited. Stock market trading continued to be very calm as many major stock markets in the Asian region remained closed due to the Chinese New Year celebration.
The Nikkei index in Tokyo closed 0.1 percent at 29,520.07 points. Toyota added more than 3 percent. The Japanese auto maker posted sharper profits in the last quarter and raised its forecast. The company also believes it will not be bothered by a shortage of chips in the automotive sector in the short term. Automakers around the world are short of chips, which means they can produce and sell fewer cars. This is mainly because the Corona crisis spurred home appliance sales.
Shares of Japan’s Tokyo Electron and Advantest rose more than 3 percent, following price gains between US and European companies. The US government wants to take drastic steps to address the chip shortage in the auto sector, Bloomberg News reported. The European Union is also reportedly considering building its own chip plant to reduce dependence on supplies from Asia and the United States.
In Shanghai, Hong Kong and South Korea, financial markets were closed all day. Chinese exchanges will not open until Thursday, February 18th. The Chinese New Year is one of the most important traditional festivals in China. Many businesses and factories have closed, and for most Chinese, this is the only time of year when they can visit their families. This usually leads to massive travel movements in the country. Due to the Coronavirus, travel this year is expected to be less than in previous years.
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