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TOKYO: Japanese shares closed lower on Tuesday as worries about delays in distributing coronavirus vaccines, delay in US stimulus package and jitters before earnings season triggered profit-taking.

The Nikkei 225 Index ended down 0.96% at 28,546.18 points, with consumer cyclicals, energy and materials makers leading the decline. The broader Topix fell 0.75% to 1,848.00.

Several Bank of Japan policymakers called for more flexible purchases of exchange-traded funds, which may emerge as another negative factor for equities when the central bank reviews its policies in March, according to some analysts.

Top underperformers on the Topix 30 were Daikin Industries Ltd down 2.98%, followed by Toyota Motor Corp losing 2.31%.

Top gainers were Takeda Pharmaceutical Co Ltd up 1.83 %, followed by KDDI Corp rising 1.23%.

There were 80 advancers on the Nikkei index against 157 decliners.

The volume of shares traded on the Tokyo Stock Exchange’s main board was 0.93 billion, compared with the average of 1.12 billion in the past 30 days.

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