Nikkei 225 Closes 0.54% Lower, Falling to 3-Month Low

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By Jacob Maslow

Japan stocks closed lower on Friday, with losses in the Finance & Investment, Shipbuilding and Insurance sectors dragging shares down. At closing, the Nikkei 225 was down 0.54%, its lowest level in 3 months.

Sharp Corp (T: 6753) led the gainers, with a 14.68% jump to trade at 125.0. Nippon Express Co., Ltd. (T: 9062) also added 19 points, up 3.71%, to close at 531. Meanwhile, Comsys Holdings Corp. (T: 1721) gained 44 points, up 2.79%, to trade at 1623.0.

The worst performers on the Nikkei included Pioneer Corp. (T: 6773), which lost 4.81%, closing at 277; and Kawasaki Heavy Industries, Ltd. (T: 7012), which lost 26 points, down 6.55%, to close at 371. IHI Corp. (T: 7013) was also down 13 points, or 4.5%, falling to 276.

The number of declining stocks outnumbered the advancing ones on the Tokyo Stock Exchange, and one ended unchanged.

Kawasaki Heavy Industries and IHI Corp both tumbled to 52-week lows.

The Nikkei Volatility, an index that measures implied volatility of the Nikkei 225, jumped 4.06% to reach a three month high of 33.05.

February delivery of crude oil fell 3.1% to $30.20 a barrel.

USD/JPY slipped 0.28% at 117.73. EUR/JPY also fell 0.08% to 128.18.

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