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Nikkei ends down after CPI; property stocks hit

Written by: Staff
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TOKYO, Mar 3 (Reuters) The Nikkei average dropped 1.55 percent on Friday as stronger-than-expected consumer price data raised concerns about a hike in interest rates and borrowing costs, sending down Mitsubishi Estate Co. Ltd. and other property stocks.

The selling spread to many sectors, with Toyota Motor Corp.

falling on the view that the yen may reverse a recent downtrend, which could curb growth in exporters' earnings.

But bargain-hunting propped up steel stocks such as Nippon Steel Corp. as some thought the sector was oversold on Thursday.

The Nikkei ended down 246.42 points at 15,663.34, the lowest closing since Feb. 20. On the week, the Nikkei benchmark dropped 2.7 percent. The broader TOPIX index was down 1.18 percent on Friday at 1,612.96.

REUTERS PR KN1206

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