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Japanese shares fall on pandemic concerns, Wall Street decline

TOKYO, April 23 (Reuters) - Japanese shares fell on Friday, dragged lower by technology firms, as the nation’s stricter curbs to contain COVID-19 increased concerns about its economic impact, with sentiment dented further by a weak finish overnight on Wall Street.

The Nikkei share average declined 0.60% to 29,012.48 by 0157 GMT, while the broader Topix fell 0.38% to 1,915.14.

“Market sentiment has been weak due to concerns on slow economic recovery as Japan plans to introduce emergency measures while vaccine rollouts are slow,” said Masayuki Kubota, chief strategist at Rakuten Securities.

“That sentiment is easily affected even by a decline in the U.S. market.”

Wall Street’s main indexes dropped on Thursday, on reports that President Joe Biden planned to almost double the capital gains tax.

Japan, struggling to contain the pandemic’s resurgence, plans to declare “short and powerful” states of emergency for Tokyo and other big cities for April 25 to May 11.

The government will require restaurants, bars, and karaoke parlours serving alcohol to close, and big sporting events to be held without spectators.

Tech firms fell, with Tokyo Electron losing 1.81%, Fanuc falling 2.29%, Advantest shedding 1.92%.

Nidec, maker of precision motors used in computer hard drives and smartphones, tumbled 7.37% after its annual forecast for the current business year missed analysts’ consensus.

The largest percentage loser on the Nikkei was Screen Holdings, down 3.5 %, followed by Komatsu and Z Holdings Corp down 2.86% and 2.58%, respectively.

Pandemic-hit shares gained the most on index, with ANA Holdings up 3.21%, followed by Central Japan Railway gaining 2.3% and Takashimaya up 2.04%.

There were 75 advancers on the Nikkei index against 142 decliners. (Reporting by Junko Fujita; editing by Uttaresh.V)

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