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TOKYO: Tokyo’s benchmark Nikkei index closed lower Thursday, snapping an eight-day winning streak as investors cashed in on recent rapid gains.

The Nikkei 225 index fell 0.57 percent, or 173.02 points, to 30,008.19, while the broader Topix index slipped 0.71 percent, or 14.68 points, to 2,064.93.

“It’s quite natural to see profit-taking after shares rose quite fast recently,” said Toshikazu Horiuchi, a broker at IwaiCosmo Securities.

“Sentiment remains strong but full-fledged recovery won’t come until Japan can ease the impact of the pandemic,” Horiuchi told AFP.

Later in the day, the government is set to extend a virus state of emergency for Tokyo and other areas until September 30.

Thursday’s decline was also due to falls in US shares as well as the upcoming settlement of futures and options, brokers said.

Investors are paying attention to the race to replace Prime Minister Yoshihide Suga, who will not run for his ruling party’s leadership, effectively ending his tenure as premier.

Whoever wins the race will lead the party into general elections in which the Liberal Democratic Party is expected to maintain a majority.

The dollar fetched 110.10 yen in Asian afternoon trade, against 110.24 yen in New York on Wednesday.

In Tokyo, SoftBank Group plunged 1.92 percent to 7,125 yen on profit-taking.

Japan Airlines dropped 1.61 percent to 2,432 yen after the company said it plans to raise some 300 billion yen ($2.7 billion) in an effort to tackle the continued impact of the pandemic on its finances.

Tokyo Electric Power jumped 11.03 percent to 322 yen after candidates to replace Suga showed support for nuclear power operations.

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