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Tokyo: Nikkei index close lower ahead of holidays

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[TOKYO] Tokyo's benchmark Nikkei index closed lower on Friday as trade lacked major cues and fewer investors participated ahead of the year-end holidays.

The Nikkei 225 fell 0.36 per cent, or 87.20 points, to end at 23,837.72, edging up 0.09 per cent from a week earlier.

The broader Topix index was up 0.11 per cent, or 1.98 points, at 1,733.18. It was flat over the week.

"The Nikkei index opened higher, supported by rallies on Wall Street... but trade lacked cues," Okasan Online Securities said in a commentary.

It is the last business day for many Japanese companies as the year-end holidays begin on Saturday.

Uniqlo operator Fast Retailing lost 2.00 per cent to 65,870 yen, while Canon dropped 2.46 per cent to 3,003 yen.

Japan Display jumped 6.84 per cent to 78 yen after reports said the company plans to sell its domestic plant to Sharp, which climbed 0.48 per cent to 1,663 yen.

Toyota inched up 0.10 per cent to 7,733 yen and Nissan rose 0.56 per cent to 639 yen.

The US dollar fetched 109.49 yen in Asian trade, against 109.42 yen late Thursday in Tokyo.

Japan's industrial output in November slipped 0.9 per cent from the previous month, the second consecutive monthly decline, according to data released by the industry ministry 10 minutes before the opening bell.

The unemployment rate in November stood at 2.2 per cent, down by 0.2 per centage points from October, separate data released by the internal affairs ministry showed, confirming the tight labour market in the country.

AFP