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Japanese shares end lower on stronger yen, worries about financial system

March 24, 2023By Reuters

TOKYO, March 24 (Reuters) – Japanese shares ended lower on Friday, as a stronger yen raised concerns about denting domestic companies’ earnings, while investors continued to remain concerned about a wider banking crisis.

The Nikkei index slipped 0.13% to close at 27,385.25 and lost 0.19% for the week.

The broader Topix edged down 0.10% to 1,955.32 and posted a 0.2% weekly loss.

“The stronger yen was the reason for the decline in the market today, while investors are still assessing the turmoil in the banking sector,” said Shoichi Arisawa, general manager of the investment research department at IwaiCosmo Securities.

The yen touched a six-week high against the dollar on Friday as traders continue to evaluate the US Federal Reserve’s hints of a pause to interest rate hikes.

Risk appetite has been hurt after the failure of US-based Silicon Valley Bank and Swiss lender Credit Suisse’s liquidity issues raised concerns about a global financial crisis.

Toyota Motor Corp. fell 0.17% and Honda Motor Co Ltd lost 0.62%.

Uniqlo owner Fast Retailing lost 1.01% to drag the Nikkei down the most. Medical equipment maker Terumo Corp slipped 2.79% and robot maker Fanuc Corp fell 0.76%.

Oil explorers fell 1.27% to become the worst performers among the 33 industry sub-indexes on the Tokyo Stock Exchange after oil prices fell.

Financials were weak, with the banking index slipping 0.77% and insurance index losing 0.93%.

Insurer Tokio Marine Holdings Inc fell the most among the top 30 core Topix companies, with a 1.19% drop, followed by Mitsubishi UFJ Financial Group, which lost 1.10%.

Chipmaking equipment maker Tokyo Electron gained 1.83% to provide the biggest support to the Nikkei index. Silicon-wafer maker Shin-Etsu Chemical rose 2.23%.

Toshiba Corp jumped 4.2% after its board accepted a buyout offer from a group led by private equity firm Japan Industrial Partners.

Of the Nikkei components, 69 stocks rose and 149 fell, while seven stocks were flat.

(Reporting by Junko Fujita; Editing by Varun H K and Sonia Cheema)


This article originally appeared on reuters.com

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