TOKYO, July 27 (Reuters) - Japanese shares slid to a 1-1/2
week low on Monday as worries over worsening ties between China
and the United States soured investor mood, and a firmer yen
weighed on exporters.
The benchmark Nikkei 225 index fell 0.16% at
22,715.85, its lowest closing since July 17.
Shares pared losses in the afternoon, however, as traders
speculated the Bank of Japan would buy ETFs after a weak morning
Market sentiment continued to be hit by further
deterioration in Sino-U.S. relations, following the tit-for-tat
closures of consulates in both countries.
The tense backdrop underpinned the safe-haven yen, with the
currency rising as high as 105.38 yen to the dollar, a level
unseen since March 16.
Exporters Mitsubishi Motors shed 3.24%, Toshiba
Corp declined 2.16% and Honda Motor Co Ltd
Among other individual shares, defence-related names gained
due to tensions between the two largest economies.
Mine manufacturer Ishikawa Seisakusho Ltd rallied
6.23%, while flare manufacturer Hosoya Pyro-Engineering Co Ltd
The largest percentage loss in the index was Nikon Corp
, which fell 7.15% after Intel Corp shares
signalled it may stop manufacturing its own chip components.
Other semiconductor-related companies were also bruised,
with Screen Holdings Co Ltd slipping 1.81%, while Disco
Corp and Alps Alpine Co Ltd lost 2.22% and
The broader Topix recouped its early losses to close
up 0.24% at 1,576.69.
(Reporting by Eimi Yamamitsu; editing by Uttaresh.V and Krishna