Japanese stocks fell, with the Topix index retreating from a six-year high, as the yen maintained gains against the dollar. Paper manufacturers led declines and drug companies rose.
The Topix lost 0.2 percent to 1,406.23 as of 9:02 a.m. in Tokyo, with eight stocks falling for every six that rose, after closing yesterday the highest level since June 2008. The Nikkei 225 Stock Average slipped 0.3 percent to 17,360.21 today. The yen traded at 117.81 per dollar, after strengthening as much as 0.5 percent yesterday.
The Topix gained the past five trading days as Prime Minister Shinzo Abe called a December election, scuppering plans for a second increase in Japanâ€™s sales tax after data showed Asiaâ€™s second-largest economy is in recession. The Bank of Japan last week kept a pledge to expand the monetary base at an annual pace of 80 trillion yen ($ 676 billion).