October 9, 2019 / 2:12 AM / 12 days ago

Nikkei falls as latest U.S.-China tensions hurt investor mood

TOKYO, Oct 9 (Reuters) - Japanese shares fell on Wednesday as escalating U.S.-China tensions dimmed hopes for a deal in high-level trade talks this week and soured the mood of investors.

The Nikkei share average fell 0.86% to 21,401.98 while the broader Topix lost 0.62% to 1,576.74.

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.

Growth-sensitive technology shares led Tokyo’s decline, with robot maker Fanuc down 1.7% and Keyence off 1.4%.

Chip-related shares were hit the hardest, with Sumco , a maker of silicon wafers, down 3.7% and Advantest falling 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%, in line with the overall market, 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 media reported its chairman has decided to resign amid a graft scandal that has rocked public trust in Japan’s second-largest utility. (Reporting by Hideyuki Sano; editing by Darren Schuettler)

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