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Japan stocks fall on yen, pre-election caution

Japan stocks fall on yen, pre-election caution

Japanese stocks cooled off Tuesday, as exporters fell on a stronger yen and investors sold to take profits ahead of this weekend's parliamentary elections.
The benchmark Nikkei 225 stock average fell 83.69 points, or 0.8 percent, to 10,497.36 after soaring 3.4 percent on Monday. The broader Topix index declined 0.5 percent to 965.11.
Analysts and recent polls predict that Japan's ruling party will lose its long-running grip on power in lower house elections Sunday. Japan's finance minister _ and a senior party member _ echoed the political realities facing the Liberal Democrats.
"A huge wave of the (opposition Democratic Party of Japan) is sweeping over Tokyo," Kaoru Yosano said Tuesday. "It looks like they could control the parliament under a one-party dictatorship."
Sentiment also waned on sharp declines in China, where the country's main index sank 2.6 percent as players turned cautious after recent gains and looked for more signs of economic recovery.
The dollar slipped into the upper 93-yen territory at one point Tuesday, sending exporters including electronics makers lower. Exporters frown at a climbing yen because it makes their products more expensive in overseas markets and reduces the value of overseas profits when repatriated to Japan.
Canon Inc. lost 1.1 percent to 3,680 yen, and Hitachi Ltd. declined 0.6 percent to 330 yen.
Airlines also lost ground, with Japan Airlines Corp. down 1.7 percent at 169 yen and All Nippon Airways Co. falling 2.1 percent to 282 yen.
Kyodo news agency reported that Japan Airlines, the country's biggest carrier, is considering slashing 10 percent of its work force in three years. The money-losing airline is in the midst of restructuring efforts to return to profitability.
Among gainers, Lawson Inc. rose 1.5 percent to 4,170 yen. The convenience store operator made headlines Monday when it announced a major tie-up with drug store chain Matsumotokiyoshi Holdings Co. that will open new hybrid outlets offering over-the-counter medicines.
Credit Suisse analyst Dairo Murata calls the pairing a "good match and a solid strategic move" though cautioned that near-term earnings are likely to be limited.
In currencies, the dollar was trading at 94.38 yen from 94.48 yen late Monday.


Updated : 2021-04-14 23:10 GMT+08:00