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TOKYO: Japan’s Nikkei stock average slid on Monday, with weakness in US stock futures and the potential for a ramp up in Russia’s offensive against Ukraine weighing on market sentiment.

Uniqlo store operator Fast Retailing was among the biggest losers as China tightened COVID-19 lockdowns, worsening the outlook for sales in the country.

The Nikkei ended the day near its intraday low, falling 2.53% to 26,319.34. The broader Topix retreated 1.96%, also extending declines after the midday break.

US futures pointed to declines for Wall Street on Monday, with the tech-focused Nasdaq and S&P 500 indicated about 1% lower amid worries that rampant inflation will force even more aggressive Federal Reserve monetary tightening.

The anniversary of the Soviet victory over Nazi Germany in World War Two on Monday added to the cautious tone.

“There are concerns that tensions in the Ukraine conflict will ramp up a notch, so traders tend to want to exit positions,” said a market participant at a domestic securities firm.

Among heavyweight losers, Fast Retailing tumbled 6.26%, while SoftBank Group, which is heavily invested in Chinese startups, slid 3.5%.

Chipmakers retreated, with Tokyo Electron down 2.02% and Renesas off 3.51%.

The biggest decliner by far was Japan Steel Works, which tumbled 18.79% after revealing midday that a subsidiary had doctored product data, starting from 1998.

Another steel company, JFE, plunged 8.97% after it refrained from giving a forecast for the current fiscal year in after-the-bell earnings on Friday, citing an uncertain outlook.

Travel stocks slumped as well, with tour agency H.I.S. falling 5.34% and airline ANA Holdings losing 5.05%.

NTT Data shares had a roller-coaster session, surging 14.72% as of the midday break after announcing it would hold a joint news conference with parent NTT Corp., but ending the day 0.81% lower after the companies announced they would combine overseas business operations, disappointing investors that had wagered on NTT taking its subsidiary private.

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