TOKYO, Sept 30 (Reuters) - Japanese shares fell on
Wednesday, tracking decline in U.S. stock futures after a
combative debate between President Donald Trump and Democrat Joe
Biden increased concerns about an indecisive election outcome.
The Nikkei 225 Index dropped 1.5% to 23,185.12,
pulling back from a seven-month high reached in the previous
session. The broader Topix ended down 1.97% at 1,625.49.
Both candidates battled fiercely over Trump's leadership on
the coronavirus pandemic, the economy and the integrity of the
Neither candidate emerged from the debate with a clear
advantage in what is expected to be a close election that may
not yield an apparent winner, which is unsettling investors in
riskier assets such as equities, traders and analysts said.
"Uncertainty about the U.S. election has actually
increased," said Daiju Aoki, regional chief investment officer
for Japan at UBS Securities.
"Trump had been doing better in the polls but Biden was able
to make his points and appeal directly to voters. Increased
uncertainty should weigh on Japanese equities."
The underperformers among the Topix 30 were Mitsubishi UFJ
Financial Group Inc down 4.59%, followed by Mizuho
Financial Group Inc losing 3.78%.
The stocks that gained the most among the top 30 core Topix
names were wireless carrier NTT Docomo Inc up 20.92%,
followed by venture fund SoftBank Group Corp gaining
NTT Docomo shares surged for a second day after its parent
NTT launched a $40 billion bid to take the wireless carrier
There were 19 advancers in the Nikkei index against 205
Sentiment is likely to remain weak because the presidential
election is extremely hard to predict, meaning it is difficult
for investors who are already long in equities to increase their
positions further, traders said.
The volume of shares traded on the Tokyo Stock Exchange's
main board was 1.44 billion, compared to the average of
1.14 billion in the past 30 days.
(Reporting by Stanley White; Editing by Rashmi Aich and Sherry