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Tokyo: Nikkei slips on stronger yen, investors lock in gains ahead of holiday

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[TOKYO] Japan's Nikkei share average slipped on Wednesday as the yen strengthened against the dollar after downbeat US data, and investors locked in gains ahead of a Japanese holiday.

The Nikkei closed down 0.2 per cent at 16,735.12. After ending the morning session down 0.3 per cent, it briefly turned positive in afternoon trade before giving up its gains.

The dollar was down 0.5 per cent against the yen at 101.30 after a weak US productivity report on Tuesday.

That prompted investors to cut long-term inflation expectations and bets the US Federal Reserve will hike interest rates later this year.

The broader Topix finished down 0.2 per cent at 1,314.83.

The JPX-Nikkei Index 400 shed 0.2 per cent to 11,833.82.

Markets in Japan will be closed on Thursday for a public holiday, with some investors planning to take Friday off as well for a long weekend.