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Japan Nikkei falls on profit booking

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The Japan share market finished session lower on Thursday, 28 November 2019, snapping four days of winning streak, as investors elected to book recent profit after official data showed Japanese retail sales plunged in October following a 2% increase in the nation's sales tax at the beginning of the month due to severe fall in private consumption. Meanwhile, selloff was due to fresh concerns over the prospect of an interim trade deal agreement being reached between two major economies. At closing bell, the 225-issue Nikkei Stock Average declined 57.78 points, or 0.25%, to 23,379.99, while the broader Topix index of all First Section issues on the Tokyo Stock Exchange shed 5.13 points, or 0.3%, at 1,705.85.

Total 22 issues of the 33 industry category of Topix index dived into negative territory, with Metal Products, Land Transportation, Mining, Machinery, Warehousing & Harbor Transportation Services, and Textiles & Apparels issues being notable losers, while Air Transportation, Pharmaceutical, and Iron & Steel issues were notable gainers.

Japanese retail sales plunged 14.4% on month in October following a 2% increase in the nation's sales tax at the beginning of the month, he Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry said on Thursday, following the 7.2% increase in September. On a yearly basis, retail sales sank 7.1% following the 9.2% jump in the previous month. The scale of the monthly drop reflects that some purchases were brought forward ahead of the sales tax increase, resulting in a large monthly fall from a high base.

Fresh concerns over the prospect of an interim trade deal agreement being reached between two major economies resurfaced after U. S. President Donald Trump on Wednesday signed into law two bills backing protesters in Hong Kong.

That move came despite past objections by China amid ongoing trade negotiations between Beijing and Washington for an anticipated phase one deal.

Market sentiment has gotten a boost in recent days amid positive rhetoric on the U. S.-China trade front. On Tuesday, Trump said negotiators were close to reaching an initial trade deal. Trump's upbeat comments on trade followed a phone call between officials from the U. S. and China. The negotiators agreed to keep working on remaining issues.

CURRENCY NEWS: The Japanese yen, often viewed as a safe-haven currency in times of economic uncertainty, depreciated against greenback, as safe-haven demand waned. The Japanese yen traded at 109.38 per dollar after seeing highs below 108.8 earlier in the week.

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(This story has not been edited by Business Standard staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)

First Published: Thu, November 28 2019. 11:40 IST
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