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TOKYO: Tokyo stocks closed lower on Friday after falls on Wall Street, but pharma group Daiichi Sankyo soared over 14 percent after it announced a cancer drug deal with Merck.

The benchmark Nikkei 225 index ended down 0.54 percent, or 171.26 points, at 31,259.36, while the broader Topix index slipped 0.38 percent, or 8.51 points, to 2,255.65.

The Tokyo market started with losses as investors were “discouraged by a rise in US long-term yields”, but oil-linked shares and some high-techs traded higher, IwaiCosmo Securities said. Overnight, all three major US indices declined, with the Dow losing 0.8 percent to end at 33,414.17, the broad-based S&P 500 slipping 0.9 percent and the tech-heavy Nasdaq slumping 1.0 percent.

US Fed Chair Jerome Powell said on Thursday that US inflation is “still too high”, leaving the door open for another interest rate hike.

The dollar fetched 149.86 yen in Asian trade, against 149.81 yen in New York late Thursday.

Tokyo investors are also awaiting corporate earnings results, said Yuta Okamoto, market analyst for Tokai Tokyo Research Institute. Shares in Daiichi Sankyo soared 14.41 percent to 4,095.0 yen, after the pharma group the cancer drug deal with US giant Merck worth up to $22 billion.

Merck will pay Daiichi for the rights to three drugs in development known as antibody-drug conjugates (ADCs), which attack cancer cells without damaging surrounding healthy ones. Among other equities in Tokyo, Sony Group closed down 0.67 percent at 12,555 yen, Toyota fell 1.06 percent to 2,617 yen, and Uniqlo operator Fast Retailing dropped 1.51 percent to 33,840 yen.

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