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  • Headline indices of the Japan share market finished session lower on Wednesday, 09 October 2019, as risk aversion selloff triggered on a fresh flare-up in tensions between U.S. and China after the U.S. State Department said it is imposing visa restrictions on Chinese officials for treatment of Muslims in Xinjiang. At closing bell, the 225-issue Nikkei Stock Average dropped 131.40 points, or 0.61%, to 21,456.38, while the broader Topix index of all First Section issues on the Tokyo Stock Exchange shed 4.80 points, or 0.3%, at 1,581.70.

    Total 22 industries of the 33 industry category of Topix index declined into negative territory, with Mining, Oil & Coal Products, Insurance, Securities & Commodities Futures, and Marine Transportation issues being notable losers, while Electric Power & Gas, Textiles & Apparels, Foods, and Construction issues were notable gainers.

    Washington on Tuesday imposed visa restrictions on Chinese officials for the detention or abuse of Muslim minorities, a move Beijing denounced as interference in its internal affairs. The U.S. decision cast a pall over high-level trade talks set for Thursday and Friday in the U.S. capital. The U.S. expanded its trade blacklist to include some of Chinas top artificial intelligence firms on Monday, because of their alleged role in human-rights violations against the Uighur Muslim minority.

    The Trump administrations latest moves against China raised doubts that U.S.-China trade talks set to begin Thursday will be successful. Market participants remained focused on the resumption of trade talks in Washington D.C. between the U.S. and China with import tariffs set for $250 billion worth of Chinese goods at a rate of 30% from Oct. 15. The worlds two largest economies have imposed tariffs on billions of dollars worth of one anothers goods since the start of 2018, battering financial markets and souring business and consumer sentiment.

    Shares of Chip-related and growth-sensitive technology companies were hardest hit in the Tokyos market, with robot maker Fanuc down 1.7% and Keyence off 1.4%, while Sumco, a maker of silicon wafers, fell 3.7% and Advantest dropped 3.6%. AGC dropped 3.3% after the glass maker said it expected a 36% drop in annual net profit due to an impairment in its auto glass business. Nissan Motor fell 0.7% after automaker said its new CEO is an executive known for close ties to top shareholder Renault.

    Defensive stocks bucked the weak trend. Kao, a manufacturer of toiletries, rose 1.1%, while retailer Seven & I Holdings gained 0.7%. Kansai Electric Power rose 2.4% after reports its chairman has decided to resign amid a graft scandal that has rocked public trust in Japans second-largest utility.

    CURRENCY NEWS: The Japanese yen, often viewed as a safe-haven currency in times of uncertainty, appreciated against greenback on Wednesday. The Japanese yen traded at 107.15 against the dollar after strengthening from levels above 107.3 in the previous session.

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