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Tokyo shares end lower as hopes dim for US-China talks

Tokyo stocks fell on Wednesday as Wall Street tumbled on dimming hopes for much-anticipated trade talks later this week following reports of heightened tensions between the US and China.

The benchmark Nikkei 225 index lost 0.61 percent, or 131.40 points, to end at 21,456.38, while the broader Topix index dropped 0.30 percent, or 4.80 points, to 1,581.70.

Traders were spooked after Washington said it would curb visas for Chinese officials until Beijing ends its "repression" of Uighurs and other Muslims in the western region of Xinjiang, a day after imposing commercial restrictions.

The move stirred anxiety over the prospects for the trade talks with Beijing this week, analysts said.

The news dampened the Tokyo market, but it managed to reduce its losses through the day.

"Maybe the market is increasing its tolerance for negative news related to the US and China," SMBC Nikko Securities said in a commentary.

"After reaching the intraday low at the opening bell, the Nikkei gradually reduced losses."

Appetite for bargain hunting prevented the Nikkei from plunging, Okasan Online Securities said in a commentary.

"Heightened nervousness arising from the US-China friction has resulted in sales of Hong Kong and Chinese shares, but the Nikkei stayed well supported although it was soft," Okasan said.

The dollar fetched 107.18 yen, against 107.07 yen in New York.

China-related firms were hit.

Construction equipment maker Komatsu fell 0.98 percent to 2,368 yen and industrial robot maker Fanuc dropped 1.63 percent to 19,270 yen.

Advantest, a major producer of test equipment for semiconductors, gave up 2.37 percent to 4,940 yen but automaker Toyota reversed earlier losses and ended 0.54 percent higher at 7,125 yen. Its smaller rival Honda rose 0.70 percent to 2,743 yen.

Game giant Nintendo rose 0.29 percent to 40,890 yen.