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Nikkei ends at 1-month low as Japan-US trade talks continue

A woman walks past an electronic stock board showing Japan's Nikkei 225 index at a securities firm in Tokyo, on Aug. 10, 2018. (AP Photo/Eugene Hoshiko)

TOKYO (Kyodo) -- Tokyo stocks slid Friday, with the Nikkei index ending at a nearly one-month low, as investors awaited the outcome of Japan-U.S. trade talks in Washington.

The 225-issue Nikkei Stock Average ended down 300.31 points, or 1.33 percent, from Thursday at 22,298.08. The broader Topix index of all First Section issues on the Tokyo Stock Exchange finished 20 points, or 1.15 percent, lower at 1,720.16.

Decliners were led by mining, marine transportation and real estate issues.

Shares showed a weak tone from the outset of trading amid caution over the outcome of the first round of ministerial trade talks between Japan and the United States, which started Thursday in Washington.

"Market players were concerned that there could be some strict (U.S.) demands" on Japan to further open up its automobile and agriculture markets to reduce the chronic U.S. trade deficit, said Yutaka Miura, senior technical analyst at Mizuho Securities Co.

The losses in stocks widened in the afternoon on position adjustment ahead of the weekend and the Japanese Bon holidays next week.

"Some investors moved to reduce risks before entering the holidays," said Makoto Sengoku, market analyst at the Tokai Tokyo Research Institute, adding that the yen's strong tone also kept investors from chasing the market's upside.

Investors showed a muted response to Japan's upbeat gross domestic product data for the April-June quarter, released before the opening bell, which beat market expectations. Japan avoided a lapse into recession as private consumption and capital expenditure picked up.

On the First Section, declining issues outnumbered advancers 1,541 to 491 with 72 ending the day unchanged.

Technology issues drew notable selling following their U.S. peers after a Morgan Stanley report downgraded the U.S. semiconductor industry on Thursday, brokers said.

Tokyo Electron sank 690 yen, or 3.5 percent, to 18,760 yen, Advantest slid 130 yen, or 4.9 percent, to 2,530 yen and Screen Holdings shed 330 yen, or 3.9 percent, to 8,130 yen.

Bucking the downward trend, Fujifilm Holdings advanced 161 yen, or 3.5 percent, to 4,820 yen after the company announced Thursday a share buyback plan of up to 100 billion yen.

Trading volume on the main section rose to 1,507.92 million shares, from Thursday's 1,310.09 million shares.

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