Nikkei snaps eight-day winning streak as COVID-19 cases surge

TOKYO, Nov 13 (Reuters) - Japan’s Nikkei share average ended lower on Friday, snapping eight consecutive sessions of gains, as investor sentiment was knocked by concerns around resurging new cases of the novel coronavirus both at home and abroad.

The benchmark Nikkei share average dropped 0.53% to 25,385.87. The index moved further away from a near three-decade high hit in the previous sessions, but later pared losses to end closer to the 29-year high.

For the week, the Nikkei gained 4.36%, largely thanks to the economic-recovery optimism fuelled by a promising vaccine trial data.

The broader Topix eased 1.33% to 1,703.33. All but one of the 33 sector sub-indexes on the Tokyo exchange ended lower.

Wall Street’s main indexes closed sharply lower overnight as daily U.S. COVID-19 infections surged above 100,000 for an eighth consecutive day, and investors weighed the timeline for the mass rollout of an effective virus vaccine.

Japan reported a record high of 1,634 new cases on Thursday, a Japanese broadcaster said.

Airlines dropped nearly 3.6% as investors worried that another spike in virus cases could lead to renewed movement restrictions.

ANA Holdings slipped 4.8% and Japan Airlines lost 1.92%.

Land transport also took a hit, with railroad companies such as Kintetsu Group Holdings, Sotetsu Holdings and Central Japan Railway Co down between 3.6% and 6.8%.

Some stay-at-home stocks were bought instead, with Nintendo and Sony Corp rising 1.08% and 1.81%, respectively.

Rakuten fell more than 2.9% after it posted an operating loss of 60.52 billion yen for the nine months ended Sept. 30.

Nissan Motor climbed 8.75% after cutting its annual operating loss forecast by 28% on Thursday.

Elsewhere, the Mothers Index of start-up firm shares closed 1.93% higher. (Reporting by Eimi Yamamitsu; editing by Uttaresh.V)