Tokyo stocks close lower on profit-taking

Tokyo stocks fell on Thursday as investors locked in profits following a three-day rally, with a strong yen weighing on the market.

The benchmark Nikkei 225 index lost 0.99% to close at 22 738.61 while the broader Topix index was down 0.92% at 1 783.89.

"Investors cashed in as prices have been rising recently," said Hikaru Sato, senior technical analyst at Daiwa Securities.

"When the Nikkei approaches 23 000, selling pressure often emerges," Sato told AFP.

The dollar fell against the yen in Asian afternoon trade, changing hands at ¥109.99 against ¥110.38 in New York late on Wednesday.

Investors have digested Wednesday's decision by the US Federal Reserve to lift rates as it signalled a more aggressive pace for additional hikes.

"The latest US rate hike has already been factored in by the market which had sent the dollar higher against the yen since May, supporting Japanese shares," Masayuki Kubota, chief strategist at Rakuten Securities, said in a commentary.

"As the dollar is not really appreciating despite the rate hike, the Nikkei 225 is seen falling," he said.

In Tokyo, pharmaceuticals were among losers, with Takeda declining 0.66% to ¥4 338 and Daiichi Sankyo down 0.41% at ¥3 866.

Sony plunged 2.07% to ¥5 387 while Toyota was down 0.89% at ¥7 429.

Banks were mixed as Mitsubishi UFJ dropped 0.96% to ¥670 but Sumitomo Mitsui Financial rose 0.35% at ¥4 569.

Tokyo Electric Power Company Holdings lost 0.77% to ¥514 after the utility said it was considering decommissioning all nuclear power plants in Fukushima.

On Wednesday, Wall Street stocks finished lower, with the Dow closing down 0.5% at 25 201.20.

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