TOKYO, Aug. 24 (Xinhua) -- Tokyo stocks ended lower Wednesday, with the benchmark Nikkei stock index closing at a two-week low following Wall Street's slide after weak economic data.
The 225-issue Nikkei Stock Average lost 139.28 points, or 0.49 percent, from Tuesday to close the day at 28,313.47.
The broader Topix index, meanwhile, dropped 4.26 points, or 0.22 percent, to finish at 1,967.18.
Local brokers said that after an initial round of investors scooping up battered shares, the market inherited a downbeat mood from U.S. stocks retreating overnight following weaker-than-expected U.S. business activity data, renewing concerns over the future health of the world's largest economy.
"The sluggish reading reflected a decline in individual consumption in the United States, sparking concerns over its economic slowdown," Takuya Kanda, senior researcher at the Gaitame.com Research Institute, was quoted as saying.
Market analysts here also said that investors continued to refrain from making bold moves ahead of U.S. Federal Reserve chair Jerome Powell's Jackson Hole symposium on Friday, at which he is expected to underscore the central bank's commitment to its aggressive monetary policy to fight inflation.
"There was some sense that we might see a pause in the recent selloff, but it's difficult for the market to turn around as people position ahead of a big event," a market participant at a domestic asset management firm said.
By the close of play, decliners comprised air transportation, marine transportation, and service issues, with rising issues outpacing falling ones by 1,005 to 734 on the Prime Market, while 99 ended the day unchanged.
Nikkei heavyweights dragged the broader market lower, with semiconductor equipment maker Tokyo Electron falling 2.2 percent, while robot maker Fanuc slipped 0.7 percent.
Fast Retailing, operator of the Uniqlo clothing store chain, ended the day 0.9 percent lower.
Energy issues trimmed losses on higher crude oil prices, and exploration giant Inpex gained 1.7 percent, while refiner Eneos Holdings closed up 0.7 percent.
On the Prime Market on Wednesday, 1,022.93 million shares changed hands, rising from Tuesday's volume of 974.31 million shares.
The turnover on the third trading day of the week came to 2,291.62 billion yen (16.81 billion U.S. dollars).