Japan stocks end lower as firmer yen, U.S. political uncertainty weigh

  • Reuters
  • Stock Market News
Japan stocks end lower as firmer yen, U.S. political uncertainty weigh
Credit: © Reuters.

By Stanley White

TOKYO, Oct 22 (Reuters) - Japanese shares ended weaker on Thursday, as a firmer yen threatened earnings of exporters and amid fears that agreement on a key U.S. stimulus bill will not be reached until after the presidential election on Nov. 3.

The Nikkei 225 Index .N225 ended down 0.70% at 23,474.27, while the broader Topix .TOPX fell 1.09% to 1,619.79.

The yen JPY=D3 jumped to a one-month high against the dollar on Wednesday as investors grew more concerned about stalled negotiations over a new round of U.S. fiscal stimulus.

Some traders are also reducing their exposure to riskier assets ahead of the U.S. elections, which could cap gains in Japanese shares. Rising COVID-19 cases in Europe and the United States also hurt sentiment.

"There are a lot of people waiting to buy stocks on the dip," said Ayako Sera, market strategist at Sumitomo Mitsui Trust Bank.

"At the same time, the upside is limited because there is still uncertainty in the market about the election and the coronavirus."

The underperformers among the Topix 30 were Central Japan Railway Co 9022.T down 3.35%, followed by East Japan Railway Co 9020.T losing 3.08%.

Shares of ANA Holdings Inc 9202.T ended down 4.08%. The airline hit its lowest level in more than two months after media reports that ANA will book a record net loss as the pandemic devastates global travel demand. down partly by a stronger yen, Toyota Motor Co 7203.T fell 0.61%, Honda Motor 7267.T lost 1.93% and Sony Corp 6758.T slid 0.98%.

The stocks that gained the most among the top 30 core Topix names were industrial robot maker Fanuc Corp 6954.T up 0.26 %, followed by Japan Tobacco Inc 2914.T rising 0.05%.

There were 40 advancers in the Nikkei index against 180 decliners

The volume of shares traded on the Tokyo Stock Exchange's main board .TOPX was 0.73 billion, compared with the average of 1.09 billion in the past 30 days.

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