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Tokyo stocks close lower on pre-holiday profit taking

A man wearing a face mask walks past an electronic stock board showing Japan's Nikkei 225 and other Asian indexes at a securities firm in Tokyo, July. 22, 2020. (File photo/AP)
A man wearing a face mask walks past an electronic stock board showing Japan's Nikkei 225 and other Asian indexes at a securities firm in Tokyo, July. 22, 2020. (File photo/AP)
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22 Jul 2020 05:07:13 GMT9
22 Jul 2020 05:07:13 GMT9

Tokyo stocks closed lower on Wednesday as investors locked in profits ahead of a four-day holiday weekend in Japan.

The key Nikkei 225 index fell 0.58 percent, or 132.61 points, to end at 22,751.61 while the broader Topix index lost 0.62 percent, or 9.78 points, to 1,572.96.

“Mixed moves in US stocks and a stronger yen weighed on sentiment,” said Yoshihiro Ito, chief strategist at Okasan Online Securities.

“Profit taking led trade ahead of the consecutive holidays,” he said in a note.

On Wall Street on Tuesday, the blue-chip Dow Jones average rose but the tech-heavy Nasdaq retreated from its record.

European stocks were broadly higher along with the euro as EU leaders clinched an agreement on what they boasted was a historic rescue plan.

The agreement boosted European bourses and also lifted the euro to its highest level against the dollar since early 2019.

The yen also rose against the dollar, a negative development for Japanese exporters.

The greenback was changing hands at 106.83 yen in Tokyo afternoon trade, a shade higher than 106.77 yen in New York Tuesday afternoon but still sharply lower than the 107-yen levels seen on Monday.

The euro remained strong, buying $1.1526 compared with and $1.1522 in New York.

Following Tuesday’s approval of the euro fund, “rotation out of US and into European stocks might be a theme that establishes legs in coming weeks,” said Ray Attrill, head of forex strategy at National Australia Bank.

“A new point of focus for market now is the ‘cliff edge’ that the US faces as early as this weekend” when the $600 weekly unemployment benefit paid under the Pandemic Unemployment Assistance is due to expire, he said in a commentary.

In Tokyo stocks trade, selling hit high-tech stocks with microchip-testing equipment maker Tokyo Electron falling 0.46 percent to 29,660 yen.

Oil explorer Inpex rose 2.83 percent to 663.9 yen on petroleum prices.
Toyota closed down 0.67 percent at 6,729 yen after giving up early gains on news that the auto giant’s domestic production will recover in August.

AFP

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