Japanese shares fall as investors await U.S. CPI, retailers jump

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TOKYO, Oct 13 (Businesshala) – Japanese stocks fell on Wednesday as investors awaited US consumer price data later in the day, while department store operator J. Front Retailing edged out among its peers after posting positive earnings amid hopes of an economic reopening.

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The Nikkei average slipped 0.32% to end at 28,140.28, while the broader Topix fell 0.45% to end at 1,973.83.

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As strong US CPI data could raise the stakes of a rate hike previously expected by the Federal Reserve, investors with global exposure to domestic demand-oriented stocks swung out of cyclical stocks that could benefit from an economic reopening.

Red-hot shippers lost 3.27%, while steelmakers lost 1.66%. Semi-conductor shares were also soft after slipping to 2-1/2-month lows by US peers, with Screen Holdings down 2.88% and Shin-Etsu Chemical down 1.55%.

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“With the US economy looking slower than expected and China’s growth outlook from Evergrande’s debt problems, investors are shifting to domestic demand-oriented stocks,” said Masayuki Kubota, chief strategist at Rakuten Securities.

Filmmaker Toho jumped 3.91% after reporting a jump in profits, thanks to the reopening of cinemas and the box-office success of his animation film Belle.

Department store operator J.Front Retailing jumped 8.55% as it returned to net profit in the August quarter after two quarters of losses.

Pierce Isaton Mitsukoshi Holdings rose 3.62% and H2O Retailing rose 2.11%. Takashimaya also gained 1.3% after it cut its annual outlook due to weak demand.

Shift jumped 9.98% after the software testing firm reported bumper earnings.

On the other hand, Nippon Paint fell 7.13% after cutting earnings guidance due to rising costs as well as slower sales to carmakers slashing production due to chip shortages. (Reporting by Hideyuki Sano, Additional reporting by Junko Fujita; Editing by Subhranshu Sahu and Krishna Chandra Eluri)

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