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Tokyo stocks fall in morning after Nikkei reached 29-year high

TOKYO (Kyodo) -- Tokyo stocks dropped Wednesday morning as the market took a breather a day after the benchmark Nikkei index topped the 26,000 mark for the first time in more than 29 years.

    The 225-issue Nikkei Stock Average fell 197.44 points, or 0.76 percent, from Tuesday to 25,817.18. The broader Topix index of all First Section issues on the Tokyo Stock Exchange was down 9.16 points, or 0.53 percent, at 1,725.50.

    Decliners were led by nonferrous metal, marine transportation and air transportation issues.

    The U.S. dollar hovered in the lower 104 yen range, weighed on concerns over rising coronavirus cases and fresh lockdowns across the world.

    At noon, the dollar fetched 104.11-12 yen compared with 104.13-23 yen in New York and 104.47-48 yen in Tokyo at 5 p.m. Tuesday.

    The euro was quoted at $1.1859-1859 and 123.45-46 yen against $1.1855-1865 and 123.55-65 yen in New York and $1.1845-1847 and 123.75-79 yen in Tokyo late Tuesday afternoon.

    The more than 13 percent jump in the Nikkei since the beginning of the month prompted market players to take profits, pushing down the index by over 1 percent at one point.

    "We see the fall as a healthy correction from overheated rises," said Kazuo Kamitani, senior associate in the investment research and investor services department of Nomura Securities Co.

    "The correction is expected to continue for the next one or two weeks," Kamitani added.

    On the First Section, declining issues outnumbered advancers 1,291 to 765, while 117 ended the morning unchanged.

    Air and marine transportation issues were weak following their recent gains. Japan Airlines declined 29 yen, or 1.4 percent, to 1,981 yen and ANA Holdings dipped 51.50 yen, or 1.9 percent, to 2,600.00 yen.

    Nippon Yusen slid 62 yen, or 2.9 percent, to 2,072 yen, while Mitsui O.S.K. Lines sank 34 yen, or 1.3 percent, to 2,620 yen.

    Automakers were hit by the yen's firmness, with Toyota Motor falling 112 yen, or 1.5 percent, to 7,327 yen, and Subaru down 35.50 yen, or 1.6 percent, to 2,183.00 yen.

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