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Japan Shares Fall to 8-Week Low on Growth Slowdown Worries

TOKYO, July 9 (Reuters) - Japanese shares fell to a near eight-week low on Friday, on worries over a slowing economic recovery after the country declared a COVID-19 emergency, but losses were trimmed on hopes that the Bank of Japan might have stepped in to support the market.

The Nikkei share average fell 0.63% to close at 27,940.42, after losing as much as 2.48% earlier in the session. The index, losing 2.9% this week, closed below the 28,000 mark for the first time since May 17.

The broader Topix dropped 0.41% to 1,912.38.

Japan on Thursday declared emergency measures in Tokyo that will run throughout the Olympics, forcing the organisers to hold the Games without spectators.

“Investors are concerned whether Japan’s fourth emergency measures would really work... economies in other countries are reopening but Tokyo is still under the emergency, with the Olympics to be hosted without fans” said Takatoshi Itoshima, strategist at Pictet Asset Management.

Declines were led by machinery makers, which fell 1.31%, followed by rubber product makers losing 1.02%.

Restaurant operator Global-Dining edged up 0.62% after losing as much as 5.5% as its president said he was “shocked” by comments from a government minister that he would ask banks to pressure eateries that don’t comply with stricter coronavirus measures.

Economy Minister Yasutoshi Nishimura said on Thursday he would ask banks to share information on restaurants that refuse to respond to requests to follow anti-COVID-19 curbs.

Global-Dining earlier this year had filed a lawsuit against the Tokyo government claiming its order to close restaurants was illegal and not based on scientific evidence.

Eisai gained 2.05% as its partner Biogen said the U.S. Food and Drug Administration has narrowed use of its Alzheimer’s drug, after the agency drew sharp criticism for its initial approval of the drug.

(Reporting by Junko Fujita; Editing by Amy Caren Daniel and Shailesh Kuber)

Source: Reuters

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