TOKYO, June 17 (Reuters) - Japanese stocks ended lower on Wednesday as automakers dragged following weak export data, while escalating tensions between North Korea and South Korea also doused the market sentiment.
The benchmark Nikkei average .N225 closed 0.56% lower to 22,455.76, while the broader Topix lost 0.40% to 1,587.09. The Nikkei had posted its biggest intraday percentage gain in three months in the previous session.
Japan's exports shrank to the lowest levels in a decade as shipments of automobile to the United States slumped. This offset optimism around an overnight rally on Wall Street, where all three major U.S. stocks hit third consecutive daily gains. MKTS/GLOB of export-oriented automakers underperformed, with Mazda Motor 7261.T dropping 4.34%, Suzuki Motor 7269.T down 3.13% and Mitsubishi Motor 7211.T falling 3.07%.
Investors were also rattled by escalating tensions between North Korea and South Korea after North Korea demolished an inter-Korean liaison office and rejected an offer by South Korea to send special envoys, vowing to send troops back to the border. the Nikkei index, there were 32 advancers against 186 decliners.
"Worries about a 'second wave' and hopes for a global economic recovery have been playing tug of wars," said Hideyuki Ishiguro, senior strategist at Daiwa Securities in Tokyo.
Bucking the overall weakness, SoftBank Group 9984.T surged 5.02% after the Wall Street Journal reported that the Japanese technology company plans to sell "a significant portion" of its stake in T-Mobile TMUS.O to controlling shareholder Deutsche Telekom AG DTEGn.DE . Pharmaceutical Co Ltd 4541.T , a generic pharmaceutical manufacturer that sells dexamethasone, gained 4.68% after a preliminary trial results in the United Kingdom showed that this steroid drug reduced death rates by around a third among the most severely ill COVID-19 patients. the startup market, the Mothers Index .MTHR climbed 2.13%.
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