(Corrects percentage fall in Nikkei to 1.61% from 1.91% in second paragraph)
TOKYO, May 12 (Reuters) - Japanese stocks ended lower on Wednesday, tracking an extended sell-off in Asian shares, as investors refrained from placing big bets amid the Bank of Japan's absence in supporting the market despite a sharp drop in the previous session.
Asian shares fell to their lowest in seven weeks as surging commodity prices and growing inflationary pressure in the United States prompted markets to bet on earlier rate hikes and higher bond yields globally. MKTS/GLOB
"There are concerns around the recovery of Asian economies amid an increase in the number of COVID-19 infections, particularly in Taiwan," said Takatoshi Itoshima, strategist at Pictet Asset Management.
Taiwan, which has so far controlled the pandemic well, may raise its COVID-19 alert level in "coming days". the Bank of Japan so far hasn't shown any signs of supporting the market. That has disappointed investors."
The Bank of Japan, which typically buys stocks in exchange-traded funds (ETFs) in bulk when markets are falling, did not step in on Tuesday when both the Nikkei and Topix marked their biggest daily drop since Feb. 26.
SoftBank Group 9984.T dragged the Nikkei lower by losing 3.45% despite a local media report that the tech start-up investor was set to deliver a net profit later in the day. Motor 7201.T tumbled 10.04% after the automaker flagged a weaker-than-expected outlook for the current fiscal year. Motor 7203.T gained 2.18% after flagging a 14% increase in its operating profit forecast for this year. Although the guideline missed the average profit forecast from 24 analysts compiled by Refinitiv. were 31 advancers in the Nikkei index against 192 decliners.
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