Tokyo stocks close lower on US debt ceiling talks

Tokyo shares closed lower Wednesday as the market came under pressure on uncertainty over US debt ceiling negotiations, which saw Wall Street end on a down note overnight.

The benchmark Nikkei 225 index dipped 0.89 percent, or 275.09 points, to 30,682.68, while the broader Topix index lost 0.42 percent, or 9.09 points, to 2,152.40.

"Debt ceiling negotiations grind on," said Taylor Nugent of National Australia Bank.

Investors are becoming increasingly mindful of the June 1 deadline, when the US federal government said it could run out of money and possibly default on its debt.

"The lack of progress on the debt limit as the calendar continues to march towards the nominated early June x-date weighed on risk sentiment. US equities were lower, while the US dollar was stronger," Nugent wrote in a note.

Tokyo investors were also mindful of recent gains by the Nikkei index, which is hovering near its highest level in more than three decades, prompting investors to assess the best time to lock in profit.

"Profit-taking sales on worries over overheating in the market continued," IwaiCosmo Securities said in a note.

The lingering economic and diplomatic friction between China and the United States also continued to weigh on the global market, said Edward Moya of Oanda.

Among major shares, SoftBank Group dropped 2.36 percent to 5,058 yen after S&P Global Ratings downgraded the company's long-term credit rating to BB from BB+.

Heavily weighted Fast Retailing, which operates the Uniqlo chain, fell 2.92 percent to 33,300 yen.

Airlines and land transportation businesses were lower, with Japan Airlines dropping 3.0 percent to 2,653 yen and East Japan Railway losing 2.79 percent to 7,806 yen.

Toyota rebounded 5.36 percent to 1,956.50 yen, after its shares plunged shortly before the closing bell Tuesday.