Japanese shares declined Wednesday for a fourth straight trading day as investor confidence was undermined by overnight losses on European bourses and the US Dow Jones Industrial Average.

The benchmark Nikkei 225 Stock Average lost 39.18 points, or 0.45 per cent, to end at 8,746.87 while the broader-based Topix index was down 3.8 points, or 0.52 per cent, at 727.39.

Exporters traded broadly lower as Japan's economy is reliant on exports. Shares in Advantest Corp plummeted 4.77 per cent, Nissan Motor Co fell 2.12 per cent, Canon Inc shed 1.88 per cent, Hitachi Ltd lost 1.15 per cent and Honda Motor Co was down 1.05 per cent.

Fast Retailing Co surged 3.71 per cent after the Nikkei business daily reported Wednesday that the company is set to become the first Japanese apparel firm to generate group annual sales of more than 1 trillion yen (12.8 billion dollars).

The Dow fell 0.24 per cent Tuesday, tracking losses on European markets.

On currency markets at 3 pm (08:00 SA time) in Tokyo, the dollar traded at 78.19-28 yen, up from Tuesday's 5 pm quote of 78.06-07


The euro was quoted at 100.89-91 yen, up from 100.67-71 yen late Tuesday, and at 1.2897-2898 dollars, little changed from 1.2896-2897 dollars. - Sapa-dpa