Japanese shares fall on fears of geopolitical risks


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TOKYO — Japanese shares fell on Wednesday on fears of an escalation in the Ukraine crisis after a missile landing in Poland killed two people, while softer-than-expected U.S. inflation data raised concerns about slowing economy.

By 0203 GMT, the Nikkei share average was down 0.38% to 27,884.03, while the broader Topix was down 0.28% to 1,958.64.

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“Investors were cautions about increasing geopolitical risks in Ukraine,” said Ikuo Mitsui, fund manager at Aizawa Securities.

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“Also there is a concern about slowing economy in the United States and Europe after the U.S. inflation stabilized. A peak out of inflation means the economy will start to weaken.”

Global stock markets were rattled as a deadly explosion in NATO member Poland, that Polish authorities said was caused by a Russian-made rocket, raising concerns the Ukraine conflict could spill over its borders.

Russia denies it was responsible.

The United States and its NATO allies are investigating the blast that killed two in Poland, but early information suggests it may not have been caused by a missile fired from Russia, U.S. President Joe Biden said.

Wall Street’s main indexes gained overnight, as investors seized on softer-than-expected inflation data that raised hopes of a pullback in rate hikes by the U.S. Federal Reserve. U.S. producer prices increased less than expected in October, signaling that inflation was starting to subside.

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Insurers fell 3.13% to become the biggest loser among the Tokyo Stock Exchange’s 33 industry sub-indexes.

T&D Holdings fell 4.15% and Dai-ichi Life Holdings lost 3.31%.

Medical equipment maker Olympus slipped 4.93% to become the biggest loser on the Nikkei.

Uniqlo clothing store owner Fast Retailing lost 1.35% and was the biggest drag on the Nikkei.

Oil explorer Inpex was up 2.23% and led a 2.33% gain in the mining sector, the top gainer among the industry sub-indexes.

Trading firms rose, with Mitsui & Co and Marubeni 2.56% and 2.23%, respectively. (Reporting by Junko Fujita; Editing by Rashmi Aich)


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