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Tokyo shares end down after Japan GDP shrinks

Tokyo stocks ended down on Wednesday, after falls on Wall Street and as official data showed Japan's economy contracted for the first time in two years.

The benchmark Nikkei 225 index lost 0.44 percent, or 100.79 points, to close at 22,717.23, while the broader Topix index ended down 0.27 percent, or 4.80 points, at 1,800.35.

The losses came despite the yen's drop against the dollar, which often boosts the Japanese stock market as a weak currency is positive for exporters.

Selling outpaced buying as investors took their cue from drops in all three major indices on Wall Street, Okasan Online Securities said.

The market was "also weighed down by January-March GDP data that fell short of market forecasts," it said in a commentary.

Figures showed the Japanese economy contracted a sharper-than-expected 0.2 percent in the three months to March, sliding into reverse after two years of growth.

The dollar was changing hands at 110.26 yen, marginally down from 110.33 yen in New York Monday afternoon but up from below 110 yen earlier in Tokyo.

Wall Street closed sharply lower on Tuesday as inflation fears returned to the market.

While yields on US Treasury bonds rose, the New York Federal Reserve Bank's survey of business conditions showed a big jump in expectations for price rises.

That reignited investor concern that inflation will accelerate, causing the Fed to be more aggressive about raising interest rates.

In Tokyo, Mitsubishi UFJ fell 2.36 percent to 719.7 yen after the major bank warned its net profit would fall to an eight-year low in the current business year.

Toyota rose 0.49 percent to 7,551 yen while Sony gained 0.11 percent to 5,277 yen.