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Tokyo: Nikkei slips on firmer yen, Mitsubishi Motors in free fall

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[TOKYO] Japanese stocks fell on Tuesday as the yen retreated from a three-week low against the US dollar, pruning the profit outlook for major exporters.

The Nikkei share average slipped 0.5 per cent to end the day at 17,353.28.

Uncertainty over whether the Bank of Japan will deliver on expectations of further stimulus at its April 27-28 policy meeting pulled the yen back from a three-week high and dimmed the profit outlook for Japanese exporters.

Home appliance and electronics exporter Panasonic Corp ended the day 1.4 per cent lower while auto exporters Toyota Motor Corp and Nissan Motor Co Ltd declined 0.7 per cent and 1 per cent, respectively.

Mitsubishi Motors Corp plunged 9.6 per cent after the Nikkei business daily reported the automaker used fuel economy testing methods which were not compliant with Japanese regulations since the 1990s. Citing unnamed sources, the Nikkei said the testing methods may have been used on dozens of models.

The automaker's stock has lost nearly half its value since it closed at 864 yen on April 19, the day before it announced it had overstated the fuel economy of four domestic models and used testing methods which were not compliant with domestic regulations going back at least to 2002.

Japan Steel Works Ltd bucked the day's weakness, soaring 12.7 per cent after raising its profit outlook for the year through March 2016.

The broader Topix slid 0.7 per cent to 1,391.69 and the JPX-Nikkei Index 400 fell 0.7 per cent to 12,615.04.

REUTERS