Japanese stocks drop on weak China data, profit-taking

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Tokyo (dpa) – Japanese shares fell sharply Monday for the first decline in four trading days as market sentiment was undermined by weak Chinese economic data and as investors sold stocks to lock in quick profits after recent gains.

The benchmark Nikkei 225 Stock Average lost 399.86 points, or 2.1 per cent, to end at 18,683.24 after rising 0.78 per cent Friday.

The broader Topix index was down 31.23 points, or 2.0 per cent, at 1526.97. The Topix gained 0.71 per cent Friday.

The market is closed Tuesday for a public holiday.

China’s purchasing managers’ index released Monday by Caixin Insight Group showed a reading of 48.3 in October, up from 47.2 in September. A figure below 50 indicates a negative reading. China is Japan’s largest trading partner.

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