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Japanese shares edge lower as cautious traders watch Trump-Biden debate

TOKYO, Sept 30 (Reuters) - Japanese shares fell on Wednesday, tracking overnight declines on Wall Street, as U.S. President Donald Trump and Democrat Joe Biden traded barbs in a testy debate that made most investors reluctant to take on risky trades.

The Nikkei 225 Index fell 0.25% to 23,479.09 by 0142 GMT, with industrial and technology shares leading the decline The broader Topix was down 0.5% at 1,649.88.

Trading is likely to be subdued until the first debate between Trump and Biden finishes because investors are trying to gauge who is more likely to win the presidential election in November.

“Right now it looks like a an even split between Trump and Biden, so it is difficult for the markets to move,” said Ayako Sera, a market strategist at Sumitomo Mitsui Trust Bank.

“I don’t think many people are trading because everyone is watching this debate. What people are most concerned about is the fairness of the election and how it will be carried out.”

The underperformers among the Topix 30 were Mitsubishi UFJ Financial Group Inc down 2.27%, followed Nippon Telegraph and Telephone Corp losing 2.24%.

The stocks that gained the most among the top 30 core Topix names were wireless carrier NTT Docomo Inc up 20.85%, followed by drugs maker Daiichi Sankyo Co Ltd rising 0.89%.

NTT Docomo shares surged for a second day after its parent NTT launched a $40 billion bid to take the wireless carrier private. There were 66 advancers on the Nikkei index against 154 decliners.

The volume of shares traded on the Tokyo Stock Exchange’s main board was 0.4 billion, compared to the average of 1.14 billion in the past 30 days. (Reporting by Stanley White; Editing by Rashmi Aich)

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