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TOKYO: Japanese shares fell on Thursday as concerns surrounding Ukraine resurfaced and curbed appetite for risk assets, while investors remained worried about rising interest rates globally to contain broadening inflationary pressures.

By 0223 GMT, the Nikkei share average fell 0.3% to 27,389.07 and the broader Topix slipped 0.37% to 1,939.36. The Nikkei had gained 2.2% on Wednesday.

"The Ukraine situation remains uncertain. The market rose yesterday as tensions eased between Russia and Ukraine. Today, investors sold stocks again," said Ikuo Mitsui, a fund manager at Aizawa Securities.

Japanese shares edge higher on Wall Street gains; traders focus on US data

A senior Biden administration official said on Wednesday the United States does not believe Russia's claim to be withdrawing troops from the Ukraine border and suspects Moscow has increased its presence by as many as 7,000 troops.

"Also, amid rising prices globally, investors are wondering how much central banks would need to tighten their monetary policies and what the effect of that would be on the economy."

Staffing agency Recruit Holdings dragged down the Nikkei the most with a 5.04% drop, followed by robot maker Fanuc, which lost 1.25%. Data platform services firm NTT Data slipped 2.75%.

As Japan's new COVID-19 infections have started falling, shares of companies that would benefit from a reopening gained. Railways and airlines were the best performing sectors among the 33 industry sub-indexes on the exchange, rising 1.39% and 1.49%, respectively.

Keisei Electric Railway, which runs trains between Tokyo and the Narita airport, gained 3.78% and West Japan Railway rose 2.02%. Airliner ANA Holdings gained 1.48%.

There were 93 advancers on the Nikkei index against 124 decliners.

The volume of shares traded on the Tokyo Stock Exchange's main board was 0.49 billion, compared with the average of 1.28 billion in the past 30 days.

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