TOKYO, Oct 22 (Reuters) - Japanese shares fell on Thursday as a rise in the yen threatened earnings of export-focused stocks, while uncertainty ahead of the U.S. presidential election weighed on sentiment.
The Nikkei 225 Index fell 0.64% to 23,489.27 by 0153 GMT while the broader Topix was down 1.05% at 1,620.32.
The yen jumped to a one-month high against the dollar on Wednesday, pressuring shares of Japanese companies that export autos and consumer goods.
Analysts attributed the yen’s move to the broader sell-off in the dollar as investors grow more concerned about stalled negotiations over a new round of U.S. fiscal stimulus.
Some traders are also reducing their exposure to riskier assets ahead of the U.S. elections on Nov. 3, which could cap gains in Japanese shares.
The top underperformers among the Topix 30 on Thursday were Central Japan Railway Co, down 3.78%, followed by drugs maker Daiichi Sankyo Co Ltd, losing 3.14%.
Share of ANA Holdings Inc slumped 4.43% to hit the lowest level in more than two months after media reports that the airline will book a record net loss for the fiscal year to March as the pandemic devastates global travel demand.
Weighed down partly by a stronger yen, Toyota Motor Co fell 0.81%, Honda Motor lost 1.67% and Sony Corp slid 0.99%.
The stocks that gained the most among the Topix core 30 names were industrial robot maker Fanuc Corp, up 0.28%, followed by Shin-Etsu Chemical Co Ltd, gaining 0.07%.
There were 44 advancers on the Nikkei index against 176 decliners.
The volume of shares traded on the Tokyo Stock Exchange’s main board was 0.33 billion, compared with the average of 1.09 billion in the past 30 days.
(Reporting by Stanley White; Editing by Aditya Soni)