Japanese stocks fall as strong yen hurts exporters

Nikkei stock board Image copyright AFP

Japanese stocks fell on Wednesday as the strengthening yen put pressure on exporters.

Tokyo's Nikkei 225 index closed down 0.2% at 16,735.12. Weak US productivity data on Tuesday pushed the US dollar down 0.5% against the yen to 101.30.

Shares in carmakers Toyota and Honda and technology giants Sony and Panasonic were all hit.

A stronger yen makes their products more expensive abroad and therefore less competitive on the global market.

In China, the benchmark Shanghai Composite finished 0.2% lower at 3,018.75, while the Hang Seng in Hong Kong ended the day up 0.1% at 22,492.43.

In Australia, the ASX 200 index fell 0.2% to 5,543.70. Shares in the country's biggest bank by market value, Commonwealth Bank of Australia, lost 1.5% despite the lender posting record results on Wednesday.

In South Korea, the benchmark Kospi index ended flat at 2,044.64.

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