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Japan Stocks end softer in cautious trade

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The Japan share market ended softer in quiet trade on Tuesday, 10 December 2019, as investors elected to book recent profit on tracking weak lead from Wall Street overnight amid concerns over prospect of a limited trade agreement between the U. S. and China, with less than a week to go before Washington is set to impose even more tariffs on Chinese goods. Also, investors refrained from making bold moves ahead of policy meetings at central banks in Europe and the U. S. this week. At closing bell, the 225-issue Nikkei Stock Average declined 16.88 points, or 0.07%, to 23,413.82, while the broader Topix index of all First Section issues on the Tokyo Stock Exchange eased 1.11 points, or 0.06%, at 1,720.96.

Total 23 issues of the 33 industry category of Topix index dived into negative territory, with Electric Power & Gas, Pulp & Paper, Land Transportation, Transportation Equipment, and Oil & Coal Products issues being notable losers, while Other Products, Pharmaceutical, and Fishery, Agriculture & Forestry issues were notable gainers.

Investors remained cautious amid uncertainties surrounding an initial trade deal between the United States and China. Both sides have less than 5 days to go before Washington is poised to impose even more tariffs on Chinese goods.

Tariffs on another $156 billion in Chinese goods are set to go into effect on Dec. 15.

White House economic adviser Larry Kudlow said Friday the two sides are haggling over the amount of American farm products Beijing is willing to purchase. Data showed China's exports fell 1.1% in November, with those to the U. S. tumbling 23%.

The market broadly believes the United States will delay or cancel the tariffs but lingering uncertainty over that outcome could keep stock buying in check. The U. S. and China have imposed tariffs on billions of dollars' worth of one another's goods since the start of 2018, battering financial markets and souring business and consumer sentiment.

Traders awaited monetary-policy updates from the Federal Reserve, starting on Tuesday, and from new European Central Bank on Thursday, with investors hoping to gather clues on the state of the global economy and the longer-term outlook for interest rates.

CURRENCY NEWS: The Japanese yen, often viewed as a safe-haven currency in times of economic uncertainty, little changed against greenback. The Japanese yen traded at 108.63 per dollar after strengthening from levels above 109.6 last 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: Tue, December 10 2019. 11:39 IST