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Tokyo: Stocks close lower amid lingering concern over trade


[TOKYO] Tokyo shares fell on Tuesday as concerns over the US-China trade war continued to weigh on the market, as investors took to the sidelines ahead of results from the US Federal Reserve's meeting.

The benchmark Nikkei 225 index lost 0.72 per cent, or 151.29 points, to 20,972.71, while the broader Topix Index was also down 0.72 per cent, or 11.07 points, at 1,528.67.

"Although the G-20 summit is approaching, we don't know if the US and China will come to a compromise or even if they actually will hold a meeting," said Daiwa Securities chief technical analyst Eiji Kinouchi.

"The prospects for the issue remain uncertain," Mr Kinouchi told AFP.

"Trading shares now based on predicting the results of the dispute is not an investment but a gamble," he added.

Trading was thin ahead of a highly anticipated Federal Reserve meeting, which is expected to give further hints about what would be the central bank's first rate cut in more than a decade.

The Fed raised rates nine times over the last three and a half years as the economy recovered and put millions of Americans back to work.

A strong yen also prompted selling of some blue-chip exporters.

The dollar fetched 108.28 yen in Asian afternoon trade, against 108.53 yen in New York late on Monday.

In Tokyo, market heavyweight SoftBank Group plunged 3.30 per cent to 9,853 yen on profit-taking, with Uniqlo casual-wear operator down 0.92 per cent at 66,310 yen.

Sony lost 0.21 per cent at 5,623 yen and Toyota fell 0.11 per cent to 6,719 yen, but Nintendo rose 0.66 per cent to 37,700 yen.