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Markets

Tokyo stocks fall following governor's stay-at-home request

Moody's SoftBank downgrade also weighs on jittery market

A man wearing a face mask walks past a screen showing the Nikkei index in Tokyo on March 26. (Photo by Kosaku Mimura)

TOKYO -- Tokyo stocks closed down 4.5% on Thursday and snapped a three-day winning streak as investors reacted cautiously to a request from Tokyo's governor for residents to stay home on weekends and to do their part to help Japan's capital in its fight against the coronavirus outbreak.

Gov. Yuriko Koike's request came Wednesday night and raised concern about another falloff in economic activity.

The Nikkei Stock Average finished off 882.03 points at 18,664.60. The fallback follows a three-day rally that had lifted the average 2,993 points, or 18%.

Among the losers was SoftBank Group, which closed off 9.4% following a two-notch downgrade by Moody's Investors Service.

Trading house Marubeni ended down 11.8% after it warned of its biggest ever annual loss due to the slump in the global commodity market.

Global financial markets remain choppy. U.S. blue chip stocks ended higher for the second straight day, with the Dow Jones Industrial Average closing up 2.4%.

Other Asian markets were mostly weaker. In Singapore, the Straits Times index was down 0.5% on news that the country's economy shrank 10% in January-March from the previous quarter on a seasonally adjusted annualized basis. In Hong Kong, the Hang Seng Index was down 0.6% amid investor gloom over the global economy. The Shanghai Composite Index was off 0.4%.

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