Nikkei rises tracking Wall St rally; coronavirus worries cap gains

TOKYO, June 24 (Reuters) - Japanese shares edged higher on Wednesday tracking gains on Wall Street overnight after upbeat economic data, although worries about a surge in coronavirus infections capped gains.

The benchmark Nikkei average rose 0.12% to 22,576.63 by the midday break, with 76 advancers against 142 decliners.

Wall Street’s three main indexes closed higher on Tuesday as improving economic data and the prospect of more stimulus bolstered hopes of a swift recovery.

The pace of contraction in the U.S. manufacturing and services sectors eased in June with reopening of businesses. While new home sales jumped 16.6% in May, blowing past estimates of a 2.9% rise.

But weighing on sentiment was news that coronavirus cases in the United States surged 25% in the week ended June 21 compared to the week before and a Reuters tally showing the death toll in Latin America surpassed 100,000.

Electric equipment makers were strong, with GS Yuasa Corporation up 2.87%, the second biggest percentage gainer on the main index.

Power-supply equipment maker Fuji Electric Co Ltd and Olympus Corporation rose 2.73% and 2.51%, respectively.

Precision machinery was the top performer among the Tokyo’s 33 subindexes, up 0.72%, helped by medical equipment provider Japan Medical Dynamic Marketing Inc’s 3.05% gain.

The broader Topix fell 0.29% to 1,582.50 by the recess.

Start-up market Mothers Index advanced 0.96%, as three new initial public offerings launched for the first time in two-and-a-half months.

Elsewhere, SoftBank Group Corp dropped 1.51%. A source told Reuters that the IT conglomerate is set to sell its stake in T-Mobile US Inc at $103 per share to raise $13.76 billion.

Investors were waiting for the International Monetary Fund’s updated report on World Economic Outlook, which is expected to be announced later in the day. (Reporting by Eimi Yamamitsu; Editing by Amy Caren Daniel)