Shippers, energy stocks drag Japan's Nikkei lower as slowdown fears weigh

TOKYO, Aug 16 (Reuters) – Japan’s Nikkei index slipped on Tuesday, dragged by energy-related stocks and shippers, as worries about economic slowdown in the United States and China weakened sentiment.

By 0143 GMT, the Nikkei share average was down 0.17% at 28,823.61, retreating from a seven-month high scaled in the previous session. The broader Topix fell 0.37% to 1,978.62.

“The market rallied in the past (few) sessions but sentiment has been weakened by concerns about economic slowdown,” said Shuji Hosoi, senior strategist at Daiwa Securities.

China’s central bank on Monday cut lending rates to revive demand as data showed the economy slowing unexpectedly in July, with factory and retail activity squeezed by Beijing’s zero-COVID policy and a property crisis.

In Japan, oil explorers fell 1.94% and refiners lost 1.84% after oil prices dropped on demand concerns in China — one of the largest importers of crude.

Shipping firms fell 3.8% and led declines among the Tokyo Stock Exchange’s 33 industry sub-indexes.

Kawasaki Kisen Kaisha lost 4.4% to become the largest loser on the Nikkei, followed by Mitsui O.S.K. Lines , which dropped 3.98% and Nippon Yusen, declining 3.72%. JAFCO Group, however, jumped 11.24% after a prominent activist investor “hinted” they could buy a majority stake in the major Japanese venture capital firm.

There were 68 advancers on the Nikkei index against 153 decliners.

The volume of shares traded on the Tokyo Stock Exchange’s main board was 0.46 billion, compared with the average of 1.17 billion in the past 30 days. (Reporting by Junko Fujita; editing by Uttaresh.V)

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