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  05 Oct 2021, 10:04

Tokyo shares slump on inflation fears, eroding confidence

  TOKYO, Oct 5, 2021 (BSS/AFP) - Tokyo's benchmark Nikkei index gave up more

than three percent on Tuesday morning amid global worries over inflation and
the Chinese economy, with high-tech shares hit particularly hard.

  At the lunch break, the headline Nikkei index was down 2.77 percent or
786.58 points at 27,658.31, having dropped as much as 3.46 percent before
paring losses.

  The broader Topix dipped 1.75 percent or 34.63 points to 1,939.29.

  The dollar slightly firmed to 111.07 yen from 110.93 yen in New York on
Monday.

  Global investors remained concerned about a tense political debate in
Washington over raising the US debt ceiling as well as the financial crisis
at Chinese property giant Evergrande, which drove down Wall Street shares.

  "On the back of the falls of US shares and worries about the outlook of the
Chinese economy, selling of futures led" the Nikkei down to 27,460.29 before
it trimmed losses, Okasan Online Securities said in a commentary.

  Surging energy prices were fuelling fears of inflation, analysts said.

  "The global energy crisis" was "arguably today's main source of broader
stock market weakness," Ray Attrill of National Australia Bank said in a
note.

  "Negative cues are appearing one after another," Chihiro Ota at SMBC Nikko
Securities told AFP.

  "US shares are turning weaker as the market expects rate increases...
Investor sentiment was stronger, but it is now weakening," he said.

  Chipmaker Murata Manufacturing dropped 3.32 percent to 8,748 yen. Tokyo
Electron, which makes tools to build semiconductors, trimmed losses but still
hovered down 3.35 percent at 45,570 yen.

  Advantest, which makes chip-testing kits, was down 2.97 percent to 9,140,
after falling to 8,910 yen in the morning.

  But energy firm ENEOS Holdings rose 1.25 percent to 453.7 yen. Oil and gas
developer INPEX Corp surged 4.26 percent to 931 yen.

  Tokyo investors have high hopes that the new government of Prime Minister
Fumio Kishida, who officially took office Monday, will issue fresh stimulus
and call on businesses to increase wages as he prepares for a national
election on October 31.

  Kishida of the long-ruling Liberal Democratic Party has pledged to focus on
the redistribution of wealth after the pro-business policies of his
predecessors failed to end Japan's prolonged economic malaise.

  Among other major shares, Toyota gave up 1.86 percent to 1,896 yen. Sony
Group fell 2.09 percent to 11,720 yen.

  SoftBank Holdings dropped 4.23 percent to 6,001 yen.

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