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Japanese shares end lower in wait for update on U.S. tariffs

Published 12/11/2019, 03:44 PM
Updated 12/11/2019, 03:48 PM
Japanese shares end lower in wait for update on U.S. tariffs

By Stanley White
TOKYO, Dec 11 (Reuters) - Japanese stocks ended lower on
Wednesday as an approaching deadline for U.S. tariffs on nearly
$160 billion worth of Chinese consumer goods just weeks before
Christmas kept investors away from risk-taking.
The Nikkei index .N225 closed down 0.08% at 23,391.86,
with industrial and healthcare sectors leading the declines.
The tariffs are set to kick in on Dec. 15, but the United
States and China are planning a delay as trade talks continue,
the Wall Street Journal reported on Tuesday. However, some traders were cautious as negotiations between
the two countries have been fractious and both sides have sent
mixed signals about the chance of agreeing to a deal to end a
trade row that has dragged on for more than a year.
"I lean toward the positive side in terms of valuations for
Japanese equities, which look cheap," said Masayuki Kichikawa,
chief macro strategist at Sumitomo Mitsui Asset Management Co in
"Having said that, foreign investors need to be convinced
that downside risks posed by global trade have receded before
they return to the Japanese stock market."
Investors also avoided making big bets ahead of the outcome
of a rate-setting meeting by the U.S. Federal Reserve later in
the day and a general election in the UK on Thursday, which
could cause gyrations in financial markets.
There were 98 advancers on the Nikkei index against 120
The largest percentage losers were electronic equipment
maker Hitachi Ltd 6501.T down 2.53%, followed by a 2.48% drop
in sake rice wine brewer Takara Holdings Inc 2531.T and 2.35%
slide in drugs maker Eisai Co Ltd 4523.T .
The largest percentage gainers were silicon wafer
manufacturer Sumco Corp 3436.T up 4.16%, followed by marine
food products firm Nippon Suisan Kaisha Ltd 1332.T gaining
3.44% and industrial equipment maker Hitachi Zosen Corp 7004.T
up 2.95%.
The broader Topix index .TOPX fell 0.34% to 1,714.95.
The volume of shares traded on the Tokyo Stock Exchange's
main board .TOPX was 1.15 billion, compared to the average of
1.25 billion in the past 30 days.

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