Nikkei turns lower as U.S. fiscal talks stall; exporters down

Thu Dec 20, 2012 9:17pm EST

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    By Ayai Tomisawa
    TOKYO, Dec 21 (Reuters) - Japan's Nikkei average erased
gains and turned lower on Friday as the U.S. House of
Representatives abruptly recessed after failing to muster enough
support for a "fiscal cliff" bill, souring sentiment and
dragging down shares of exporters.
    The Nikkei was down 0.4 percent at 9,999.14 in late
morning, after having risen as high as 10,175.06 earlier.
    The House of Representatives will adjourn until after
Christmas, Republican Representative Peter Roskam said, after
Republican leaders conceded they could not gather enough
Republican votes to pass their tax bill designed to avert the
so-called fiscal cliff. 
    Analysts said investors had been ready to chase the market
higher on hopes that the U.S. fiscal talks were moving towards a
resolution, but they started pulling back after the news was
out.
    "The delay in resolving the U.S. fiscal cliff problem is
raising concern as the market expected some sort of positive
direction out of the talks by the end of the year," said Fujio
Ando, a senior managing director at Chibagin Asset Management.
    Among exporters, Toyota Motor Corp fell 1.3 percent
and Canon Inc lost 1 percent.     
    The broader Topix fell 0.5 percent.
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