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Tokyo: Stocks close down on profit-taking

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[TOKYO] Tokyo stocks closed lower Thursday on profit-taking following a five-day winning streak, with concerns over North Korea's test-firing of a new tactical weapon harming market sentiment.

The benchmark Nikkei 225 index fell 0.84 per cent, or 187.85 points, to 22,090.12 while the broader Topix index dropped 0.96 per cent, or 15.71 points, to 1,614.97.

Tokyo shares opened higher but lost ground gradually as investors cashed in on recent gains, brokers said.

Daiwa Securities chief technical analyst Eiji Kinouchi also said: "North Korea's test weighed on market sentiment."

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North Korea's Kim Jong Un has supervised the test-firing of a new tactical weapon with a "powerful warhead", state media reported Thursday, in the first test of its kind since nuclear negotiations with Washington stalled.

The test marks a ratcheting up of tensions weeks after a summit between Kim and US President Donald Trump collapsed without agreement.

"Domestic investors refrained from trading actively, adjusting their positions" ahead of Japan's unprecedented 10-day holiday starting in late April, Mr Kinouchi told AFP.

The dollar fetched 111.88 yen in Asian afternoon trade, down from 112.09 yen in New York.

Sony, which will announce full-year results next week, lost 1.19 per cent to 5,299 yen with Nintendo down 1.37 per cent at 34,350 yen.

SoftBank plunged 2.16 per cent to 11,535 yen on profit-taking.

Banks were mixed as Mitsubishi UFJ Financial was down 0.55 per cent at 569.9 yen but Sumitomo Mitsui Financial rose 0.61 per cent to 4,078 yen.

 

AFP