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Tokyo: Stocks close down 0.12% as Syria strike fears weigh

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[TOKYO] Tokyo stocks fell Thursday, weighed down by uncertainty over Syria as US President Donald Trump threatened new military action in the war-torn country.

The benchmark Nikkei 225 index slipped 0.12 per cent or 26.82 points to 21,660.28 while the broader Topix index was down 0.39 per cent or 6.78 points at 1,718.52.

Domestically the retail sector was in focus on the back of their earnings releases. Convenience store operator Lawson Inc tumbled 4.9 per cent after the company forecast an 8.8 per cent drop in its operating profit year through February 2019 as it continued to invest in new businesses.

On the other hand, supermarket operator Aeon climbed more than 4 per cent after it posted a record annual operating profit and forecast a further gain.

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Household goods retailer Ryohin Keikaku jumped more than 5 per cent with the company expecting a 10.6 per cent rise in its net profit for the year through February 2019 thanks to strength in domestic and overseas businesses.

Other winners included mining shares, driven by crude oil prices racing to its highest since late 2014, though airlines shares fell on worries about higher fuel charges.

Japan Petroleum Exploration Co gained 3 per cent and Japan Drilling Co rose 5.2 per cent. Japan Airlines fell 1.2 per cent and ANA Holdings dropped 0.7 per cent.

AFP, REUTERS