TOKYO, Oct 22 (Reuters) - Japanese shares ended weaker on
Thursday, as a firmer yen threatened earnings of exporters and
amid fears that agreement on a key U.S. stimulus bill will not
be reached until after the presidential election on Nov. 3.
The Nikkei 225 Index ended down 0.70% at 23,474.27,
while the broader Topix fell 1.09% to 1,619.79.
The yen jumped to a one-month high against the
dollar on Wednesday as investors grew 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, which could cap gains in
Japanese shares. Rising COVID-19 cases in Europe and the United
States also hurt sentiment.
"There are a lot of people waiting to buy stocks on the
dip," said Ayako Sera, market strategist at Sumitomo Mitsui
"At the same time, the upside is limited because there is
still uncertainty in the market about the election and the
The underperformers among the Topix 30 were Central Japan
Railway Co down 3.35%, followed by East Japan Railway
Co losing 3.08%.
Shares of ANA Holdings Inc ended down 4.08%. The
airline hit its lowest level in more than two months after media
reports that ANA will book a record net loss as the pandemic
devastates global travel demand.
Weighed down partly by a stronger yen, Toyota Motor Co
fell 0.61%, Honda Motor lost 1.93% and Sony
Corp slid 0.98%.
The stocks that gained the most among the top 30 core Topix
names were industrial robot maker Fanuc Corp up 0.26 %,
followed by Japan Tobacco Inc rising 0.05%.
There were 40 advancers in the Nikkei index against 180
The volume of shares traded on the Tokyo Stock Exchange's
main board was 0.73 billion, compared with the average
of 1.09 billion in the past 30 days.
(Reporting by Stanley White; Editing by Aditya Soni and Sherry