Tokyo stocks close lower on strong yen, US falls

View of Mt. Fuji and Tokyo skyline at dusk.
View of Mt. Fuji and Tokyo skyline at dusk.

Tokyo stocks closed lower on Thursday, weighed down by a higher yen against the dollar and falls on Wall Street.

The benchmark Nikkei 225 index fell 0.70%, or 165.19 points, to 23 474.27, while the broader Topix index dropped 1.09%, or 17.81 points, to 1 619.79.

"Negative factors outnumbered positive ones - such as falls in US shares and a strong yen as well as Iran and Russia," which Washington said have both obtained US voter information, Toshikazu Horiuchi, a broker at IwaiCosmo Securities, told AFP.

"The death of a volunteer participating in Covid-19 vaccine clinical trials also weighed on the market," Horiuchi said.

Investors are still focused on discussions over a possible US economic stimulus package and Thursday's final presidential debate, he added.

The dollar fetched ¥104.64 in Asian afternoon trade, up from 104.58 yen in New York late Wednesday but still down from the ¥105 level seen earlier this week.

In Tokyo, ANA Holdings plunged 4.07% to ¥2 318 after reports said the airline has decided to retire half of its wide-body fleet, losing around 25 to 30 planes.

ANA is also predicting a record full-year net loss of about ¥530 billion ($5 billion), Kyodo News reported, while broadcaster NHK and others said the airline would suspend most of its international routes in and out of Tokyo Narita, and concentrate on routes at Tokyo Haneda instead.

Its rival Japan Airlines dropped 2.20% to ¥1 993.

Fujifilm Holdings rose 0.13% to ¥5 362 after announcing plans to jointly seek approval in China for its anti-influenza drug Avigan to treat Covid-19.

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