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Tokyo stocks close 0.31% lower

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(Globalpost/GlobalPost)

Tokyo stocks closed 0.31 percent lower on Wednesday, weighed down by investor caution after four days of gains and weak Chinese data.

The Nikkei 225 index, which surged more than nine percent in a four-day winning streak to Tuesday, slipped 43.18 points to 14,055.56, while the Topix index of all first-section issues edged up 0.17 percent, or 1.97 points, to 1,173.81.

Tokyo shares were hit by a host of buy inhibitors, including the market's overbought condition, weaker economic data out of China and a downturn across regional markets.

"Investors are not terribly active with the upcoming US Independence Day holiday and end-week jobs data coming out," an equity trading director at a foreign brokerage told Dow Jones Newswires. "The conditions are ideal for profit-taking."

Growth in Chinese manufacturing activity slowed further in June, official figures showed Monday, adding to a slew of data that has pointed to problems in the world's number two economy.

Shares in Suntory's food-and-beverage unit ended their first trading day at 3,145 yen, up 1.45 percent from the 3,100 yen price of its initial public offering, which was the world's second biggest so far this year.

Suntory Beverage & Food is the non-alcoholic drinks arm of beverage giant Suntory, which owns the Orangina brand and distributes a range of foreign products in Japan including Pepsi and Jim Beam bourbon.

Shares in Tokyo Electric Power, the operator of the crippled Fukushima nuclear power plant, tumbled 10.27 percent to 559 yen after it said it will apply for official approval to restart two reactors at its Kashiwazaki-Kariwa plant.

The move drew outrage from the governor of the prefecture hosting the plant, underscoring that anti-nuclear sentiment is still running high in Japan.

Olympus closed down 0.93 percent at 3,170 yen after three former executives received suspended jail terms for engineering a massive accounting fraud at the camera and medical equipment maker.

On currency markets, the dollar fetched 100.74 yen, up from 100.64 yen in New York on Wednesday.

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http://www.globalpost.com/dispatch/news/afp/130703/tokyo-stocks-close-031-lower-0