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Tokyo stocks end down as tech firms track US losses


[TOKYO] Tokyo's benchmark stock index fell on Tuesday as investors tracked a hefty selloff in US technology firms.

The Nikkei 225 lost 0.37 per cent, or 84.78 points, to close at 22,622.38, but the broader Topix index rose 0.23 per cent, or 4.10 points, to 1,790.97.

"The high-tech selloff has worsened overall sentiment," said Toshihiko Matsuno, chief strategist at SMBC Friend Securities.

On Wall Street on Monday, the bluechip Dow still mustered a modest record, but the technology-heavy Nasdaq tumbled 1.1 per cent.

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"Investors seem to be rebalancing (their portfolios) to take profits towards the end of the year, moving out of high-performing technology and healthcare issues into financial stocks that are likely to fare well next year," Mr Matsuno told AFP.

Toshikazu Horiuchi, a broker at IwaiCosmo Securities, said: "It is true that high-tech selling weighed on the market, but other shares, including domestic demand-related shares, are still stable, sustaining the market's downside support."

Japanese tech-tech giant SoftBank, a heavyweight in the Nikkei 225, fell 0.72 per cent to 9,338 yen.

Electronics makers also dropped as Panasonic lost 0.76 per cent to 1,616.5 yen with Sony down 0.74 per cent at 5,186 yen.

Bucking the downtrend, Nidec rose 1.19 per cent to 15,300 yen on the announcement late on Monday that it would set up a joint venture with French carmaker PSA to produce motors for electric vehicles.

The US dollar was trading at 112.61 yen on Tuesday against 112.41 yen late in New York.


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