Tokyo stocks close lower after quake

By AFP |   06 September 2018   |   7:29 am  

Pedestrians walk past a stock indicator showing share prices of the Tokyo Stock Exchange in Tokyo on April 25, 2018. Tokyo stocks closed lower on April 25 extending falls on Wall Street over worries about higher interest rates, with investors waiting for earnings results. / AFP PHOTO / Kazuhiro NOGI

Tokyo stocks closed lower on Thursday, with investors retreating to the sidelines to look for fresh trading pegs amid reports of damage after a big earthquake in northern Japan.

The benchmark Nikkei index was down 0.41 percent or 92.89 points to end at 22,487.94, while the broader Topix index fell 0.74 percent or 12.55 points to 1,692.41.

Investors were watching the aftermath of a powerful 6.6-magnitude quake that hit the northern Japanese island of Hokkaido early Thursday.

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It triggered landslides, bringing down several houses. At least eight people were killed and dozens went missing.

“A wait-and-see mood may spread as investors try to confirm the damage and impact (on the economy),” SBI Securities said in a note.

The tremor came just days after Typhoon Jebi, the strongest storm to hit Japan in 25 years, wreaked havoc in the country’s west.

It shut down a major airport and disrupted factory operations.

Electronics companies fell, with Murata Manufacturing losing 1.68 percent to 18,665 yen and Sharp dropping 3.63 percent to 2,410 yen.

Hokkaido Electric plunged 6.43 percent to 713 yen after around three million homes lost power when the quake damaged a major thermal plant supplying the region.

The dollar slipped to 111.34 yen from 111.53 yen in New York Wednesday afternoon.

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