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Japan shares sink on fall in US confidence

Japan shares sink on fall in US confidence

Japanese shares tumbled Wednesday, hit by an unexpected fall in U.S. consumer confidence ahead of the crucial Christmas shopping season.
The benchmark Nikkei 225 index lost 137.41 points, or 1.4 percent, to 10,075.05. The broader Topix index fell 0.8 percent to 888.80.
"Sentiment really turned sluggish in Tokyo due to a drop in the latest U.S. consumer confidence," said Masatoshi Sato, market analyst at Mizuho Investors Securities Co. Ltd.
Americans' confidence about the economy sank unexpectedly to 47.7 in October _ its second-lowest reading since May _ as job prospects remained bleak, a private research group said Tuesday. Analysts predicted a higher reading of 53.1 for the month.
"The figure sparked worries that U.S. consumer spending in the crucial Christmas season will be stagnant. Investors are now bracing for very weak retail sales in the upcoming season," Sato said.
Apart from the disappointing U.S. indicator, investors dumped shares in line with losses across Asia. Market players were also cautious ahead of a raft of key economic indicators, including Japan's industrial output and U.S. GDP data as well as earnings results by top Japanese companies.
Among blue chips, Toyota Motor Corp. _ the world's No. 1 automaker _ was unchanged at 3,600 yen. Honda Motor Co. jumped 3.3 percent to 2,940 yen.
Honda said Tuesday it expects a net profit for the fiscal year to March of 155 billion yen ($1.7 billion), nearly four times its initial outlook for a 40 billion yen profit thanks to Japanese government incentives for green cars and strong sales in China.
Nissan Motor Co. was down 0.2 percent at 662 yen.
Sony fell 1.5 percent to 2,665 yen. Panasonic Corp. slipped 0.2 percent to 1,237 yen.
In currencies, the dollar fell to 91.25 yen in Tokyo afternoon trade Wednesday from 91.77 yen in New York late Tuesday. The euro edged up to $1.4823 from $1.4809.


Updated : 2021-07-27 11:23 GMT+08:00