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Tokyo stocks close lower after three sessions of gains

Tokyo stocks closed lower on Wednesday, snapping a three-session winning streak as investors waited for the signing of a US-China trade deal.

The benchmark Nikkei 225 index lost 0.45 percent, or 108.59 points, to end at 23,916.58 while the broader Topix index was down 0.54 percent, or 9.47 points, at 1,731.06.

"A big day today which sees the US and China signing the phase one trade deal," noted Tapas Strickland, director of economics and markets at National Australia Bank.

"Importantly though, we should not expect further tariff relief until after the November presidential elections, suggesting that today's agreement is probably as good as it gets for 2020."

In Tokyo, traders were "in wait-and-see mode ahead of the signing of the US-China trade agreement", Okasan Online Securities said in a note.

US officials said Tuesday that the trade truce with China set to be signed on Wednesday did not include a deal to roll back tariffs imposed on most Chinese goods.

There is also a push involving the European Union and Japan for stronger global rules against government subsidies that distort trade, a practice China has long been accused of exploiting.

But the deal with Washington will still allow China to "re-focus on its domestic economy which should reduce fears of a slowing economy", Strickland added in a note.

Washington, Tokyo and Brussels on Tuesday joined forces, calling on the World Trade Organization to beef up existing regulations.

They said in a statement that the current rules were "insufficient to tackle market and trade-distorting subsidisation", while refraining from naming China.

The dollar was trading at 109.94 yen Wednesday against 109.98 yen in New York on Tuesday afternoon.

Nissan, which lost nearly three percent on Tuesday, was up 1.53 percent to 627.5 yen by Wednesday's close. The scandal-hit automaker has denied reports it has mulled plans for a possible break from its alliance with French partner Renault.

Other auto firms were broadly lower, with Honda losing 1.00 percent to 3,043 yen after announcing it will develop fuel-cell trucks with leading truck maker Isuzu.

Isuzu dropped 2.05 percent to 1,217.5 yen.

Softbank Group fell 1.38 percent to 4,979 yen while Uniqlo chain operator Fast Retailing advanced 1.54 percent to 64,320 yen.

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