September 30, 2019 / 6:42 AM / 24 days ago

Nikkei slips but marks best month in a year; U.S.-China tensions weigh

TOKYO, Sept 30 (Reuters) - Japan’s Nikkei average had the best month in a year although it fell on Monday after news that the U.S. administration is considering delisting Chinese companies from U.S. exchanges.

Analysts said Japanese shares are generally more sensitive to China’s economic performance than U.S. counterparts.

The benchmark Nikkei average declined 0.6% to 21,755.84, its lowest close in 2-1/2 weeks. For the month, however, it gained 5.1% to mark its best monthly performance since September 2018.

The broader Topix index dipped 1.0% to 1,587.80, with all but one of its 33 subindexes trading in negative territory. It also advanced 5.0% in September, making it the best month in nearly two years.

Risk assets took a hit in U.S. trade on Friday following news that the administration of President Donald Trump is considering new financial pressure tactics on China, including the possibility of delisting Chinese companies from U.S. stock exchanges.

The report knocked Chinese shares listed on U.S. exchanges, with Alibaba Group Holding slumping 5.2% on Friday.

Japan’s SoftBank Group, which is Alibaba’s largest shareholders, shed 2.6% on the news and dragged down the benchmark Nikkei.

On Tokyo’s bourse, electric and gas, air transport and mining were the worst three performers of the Topix’s subindexes, down 3.1%, 2.6% and 2.6% respectively.

Kansai Electric Power Co Inc continued to dive, shedding 8.0%, after the utility’s President Shigeki Iwane on Friday said he and 19 employees, including other executives, received payments and gifts worth 320 million yen ($3 million) from “a person outside the company”.

Elsewhere, Unizo Holdings Co Ltd jumped 6.8% after the hotel operator withdrew support for a $1.3 billion takeover bid by Fortress Investment Group - backed by SoftBank Group Corp - saying it wanted better terms, heightening the possibility of a higher offer price. ($1 = 107.9300 yen)

Editing by Christopher Cushing & Shri Navaratnam

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