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Japanese Shares End Lower on Weaker Yen, Rising Cost Worries

TOKYO, Nov 17 (Reuters) - Japanese shares reversed course to end lower on Wednesday, as concerns over rising costs and a weaker yen outweighed strength in technology heavyweights tracking overnight Wall Street gains.

The Nikkei share average fell 0.4% to close at 29,688.33, while the broader Topix lost 0.6% to 2,038.34.

Overnight, all the three major indexes on Wall Street closed higher on the back of upbeat retail sales data. 1 “The yen’s weakness against the dollar is good for some companies but also a negative factor for others. Investors are now focusing on the latter, especially because material costs are rising,” said Yutaka Miura, a senior technical analyst at Mizuho Securities.

“But declines in Japanese shares are limited thanks to the solid performance of the U.S. market.”

The dollar reached a four-and-a-half-year high against the yen after better-than-expected U.S. retail data.

Japanese shares also came under pressure after a local media report said Japan’s government and ruling party will consider debating next year an increase to the country’s capital gains tax as part of efforts to address income disparities.

Staffing agency Recruit Holdings, down 4.61%, was the biggest drag on both Nikkei and Topix, while automaker Toyota Motor slipped 0.63% and air conditioning maker Daikin Industries lost 2.06%.

Technology heavyweights tracked the Nasdaq higher, with Tokyo Electron rising 3.31%, SoftBank Group edging up 0.27% and Advantest adding 3.23%.

Oil refiner Idemitsu Kosan advanced 1.15%, after the industry ministry said it was considering a measure to mitigate a sharp rise in gasoline prices by providing oil refiners with subsidies to allow them to cap wholesale prices.

(Editing by Rashmi Aich)

Source: Reuters

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