Tokyo stocks close lower as Brussels attacks weigh

Tokyo, March 23 (IANS) Tokyo stocks closed lower on Wednesday as investors’ appetite to take risks was diminished by the Brussels terror attacks, although a comparatively weak yen capped the market’s losses.

The 225-issue Nikkei Stock Average lost 47.57 points, or 0.28 percent, from Tuesday to end the day at 17,000.98, Xinhua news agency reported.

The broader Topix index of all First Section issues on the Tokyo Stock Exchange, meanwhile, finished 5.73 points, or 0.42 percent, lower at 1,364.20.

Local brokers said that despite concerns about the Brussels attacks and fears of further reprisals in Europe from terrorist groups associated with the Islamic State, investors are yet to flock to the yen as a safe haven, which drives its value up versus its major counterparts and sees exporter issues dumped on bleak profit outlooks.

While saying the market may be becoming top-heavy on no clear near-term outlooks, market players here maintained that the latest terror-related incident has been factored in with market direction likely to return following the release of global economic indicators, such as Japan’s key CPI data for February scheduled to be released by the statistics bureau here on Friday.

By the close of play, notable decliners comprised machinery, mining, and wholesale-linked stocks, with the day’s turnover totalling 1,739.9 billion yen ($15.49 billion).

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