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Japanese shares end lower on U.S.-China tensions, firmer yen

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TOKYO — Japanese shares ended lower on Tuesday, amid growing tensions between Beijing and Washington ahead of a potential visit by U.S. House of Representatives Speaker Nancy Pelosi to Taiwan during the day, while a firmer yen against the dollar prompted a selloff in exporters.

The Nikkei fell 1.42% to 27,594.73, while the broader Topix dropped 1.77% to 1,925.49.

“There were several reasons for selling stocks to secure profits today. First, Wall Street was weak overnight. Also, investors were concerned about risks of worsening relationship between the U.S. and China,” said Ikuo Mitsui, a fund manager at Aizawa Securities. “Another one was the strengthening yen.”

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Wall Street ended lower after a choppy session on Monday, with declines in Exxon Mobil and other energy companies weighing against gains in Boeing as investors digested the U.S. stock market’s biggest monthly gains in two years.

Investors were worried about an escalation in Sino-U.S. tensions with Pelosi set to visit Taiwan against China’s objections, which regards the self-governed island as a breakaway province.

Chip-making equipment maker Tokyo Electron fell 2% and was the biggest drag on the Nikkei. Air-conditioning maker Daikin Industries lost 3.04% and robot maker Fanuc slipped 2.16%.

Toyota Motor slipped 2.6% and was the biggest drag on the Topix.

JSR tumbled 18.57% to its daily limit low after the semiconductor material maker cut its annual profit forecast.

Automaker Hino Motors tumbled 9.86% following a report that the scope of its announced falsification of admissions data may be larger than previously expected.

Sensor and magnet maker TDK surged 13.5% after reporting a higher quarterly profit.

There were 18 advancers on the Nikkei index, against 206 decliners.

The volume of shares traded on the Tokyo Stock Exchange’s main board was 1.2 billion, compared to the average of 1.18 billion in the past 30 days. (Reporting by Junko Fujita; Editing by Subhranshu Sahu and Shailesh Kuber)

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