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Japan's Nikkei ends higher as fears of escalation in Ukraine crisis fade

Reuters · 11/16/2022 02:00
Japan's Nikkei ends higher as fears of escalation in Ukraine crisis fade

- Japan's Nikkei share average reversed course to end higher on Wednesday, after fears of an escalation in the Ukraine crisis faded as U.S. President Joe Biden said a blast in NATO member Poland may have been caused by a missile fired from Russia.

The Nikkei share average .N225 inched up 0.14% to close at 28,028.30, while the broader Topix .TOPX edged down 0.05% to 1,963.29.

"Investors were relieved by the remarks of Biden," said Takamasa Ikeda, senior portfolio manager at GCI Asset Management.

"What they were most afraid of was NATO's counterattack."

The Nikkei turned positive after Biden said that the missile that killed two people in Poland was probably fired from Russia, following an emergency meeting of NATO leaders called to discuss the strike.

Asian stocks dropped after the blast in Poland that Ukraine and Polish authorities said was caused by a Russian-made missile. Russia denied it was responsible.

Gains in the Nikkei were limited amid concerns about slowing economy in the United States and Europe, as softer-than-expected U.S. inflation data raised concerns about slowing economy, said Ikuo Mitsui, fund manager at Aizawa Securities.

"A peak out of inflation means the economy will start to weaken."

U.S. producer prices increased less than expected in October, signalling that inflation was starting to subside.

In Japan, insurers .IINSU.T fell 3.33% to become the biggest loser among the Tokyo Stock Exchange's 33 industry sub-indexes.

T&D Holdings 8795.T fell 4.08% to become the biggest loser on the Nikkei. Dai-ichi Life Holdings 8750.T lost 3.62%.

Medical equipment maker Olympus 7733.T slipped 4.06%.

There were 96 advancers on the Nikkei index against 125 decliners.

(Reporting by Junko Fujita; Editing by Rashmi Aich)