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Tokyo: Stocks close down on worries over Italy

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[TOKYO] Tokyo stocks closed lower on Wednesday, extending falls on global bourses on fears about political uncertainty in Italy.

The benchmark Nikkei 225 index lost 1.52 per cent, or 339.91 points, to end at 22,018.52 while the broader Topix index was down 1.46 per cent, or 25.72 points, at 1,736.13.

The losses in Japanese shares come after US and European stock markets and the euro plunged again on Tuesday as political uncertainty in Italy stoked fears about the country potentially crashing out of the eurozone.

"Risk-off sentiment is getting stronger on the backdrop of the chaotic European situation," Okasan Online Securities said in a commentary.

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The safe haven currency yen firmed against the dollar and the euro in Asian trade, with the dollar fetching 108.76 yen against 108.97 yen in New York late Tuesday.

In Tokyo share trading, Nintendo jumped 4.33 per cent to 44,240 yen after it announced new Pokemon games on Wednesday.

Carmakers were among the losers, with Honda diving 3.30 per cent to 3,418 yen and Toyota trading down 1.93 per cent at 6,841 yen. Nissan lost 2.11 per cent to 1,085 yen.

Banks fell, with Mitsubishi UFJ Finanicial losing 3.40 per cent to 661 yen and Sumitomo Mitsui Financial down 1.80 per cent at 4,471 yen.

AFP