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Tokyo stocks close slightly lower

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Pedestrians are reflected on an electronics stock indicator at the window of a securities company in Tokyo on June 3, 2019. (Photo by Toshifumi KITAMURA / AFP)

Tokyo stocks edged down on Thursday with investors cautious about US-Mexico trade talks and a strong yen.

The benchmark Nikkei 225 index lost 0.01 percent, or 2.06 points, to 20,774.04 while the broader Topix index was down 0.34 percent, or 5.17 points, at 1,524.91.

Tokyo shares seesawed during the day as investors digested the impact of US-Mexico talks, which ended without an agreement on Wednesday, brokers said.

US President Donald Trump said some progress — but not enough — had been made in talks with Mexico on averting the tariffs he threatens to impose unless the southern neighbour stems the flow of undocumented migrants into the US.

Trump said discussions will resume Thursday.

“A strong yen also dampened investor sentiment,” said Toshikazu Horiuchi, a broker at IwaiCosmo Securities Co. Ltd.

“Tokyo shares’ full-fledged recovery appears unlikely without a breakthrough in the US-China trade negotiations,” Horiuchi told AFP.

The dollar was trading at 108.09 yen in Asian afternoon trade, down from 108.43 yen in New York Wednesday afternoon.

Nissan Motor lost 1.70 percent to 749.90 yen after Italian-American carmaker Fiat Chrysler said it had withdrawn a proposal for a merger with Nissan’s alliance partner Renault, which holds a 43 percent stake in the Japanese automaker.

“The merger plan forced those who had sold scandal-hit Nissan to buy it back on hopes that its business would pick up… but they are reversing the move,” said Seiichi Suzuki, senior market analyst at Tokai Tokyo Research Centre.

Mitsubishi Heavy Industries dropped 2.47 percent to 4,658 yen after news reports said it was in talks with Bombardier to buy its regional jet unit.

Sony lost 1.57 percent to 5,131 yen but Toyota rose 0.26 percent to 6,547 yen.


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