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Tokyo: Stocks close down for fourth straight session


[TOKYO] Tokyo stocks fell for the fourth straight session on Thursday, as the yen stayed relatively high against the dollar while traders continued to fret over US-China trade frictions.

The benchmark Nikkei 225 index slipped 0.93 per cent, or 200.46 points, to 21,402.13, while the broader Topix index was down 1.38 per cent, or 21.62 points, at 1,550.71.

Investors were closely watching US-China trade talks and whether Washington will follow through on its threat to hike tariffs on Chinese-made imports on Friday, analysts said.

"No one wants to buy shares actively ahead of the trade talks," said Shinichi Yamamoto, broker at Okasan Securities in Tokyo.

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A strong yen also weighed on exporters, brokers said.

The dollar changed hands at 109.90 yen in Asian afternoon trade, down from 110.10 yen in New York on Wednesday.

In Tokyo, automakers mostly lost with Toyota trading down 3.16 per cent at 6,545 yen, Nissan down 1.75 per cent at 858.4 yen and Honda off 4.68 per cent at 2,849.5 yen.

Toyota's results published on Wednesday disappointed investors with net profits down by nearly a quarter and forecasts falling short of expectations.

Meanwhile, Honda said net profit plunged 42.4 per cent to 610 billion yen, citing losses related to the reorganisation of its automobile production in Europe.

Panasonic was down 0.11 per cent at 979.4 yen after announcing plans to set up a joint venture with Toyota to develop homes.

Following the closing bell, the firm said its full-year net profit rose 20 per cent.

SoftBank Group's mobile unit SoftBank Corp rallied 6.90 per cent to 1,401.5 yen after it reported better-than-expected operating profit and full-year profit forecasts - also saying it plans to boost dividend.

SoftBank Group released results after the market closed, reporting net profit rose 35.8 per cent.