Japanese shares fall on energy rout, economic slowdown fears

TOKYO, July 6 (Reuters) - Japanese shares fell on Wednesday, with energy stocks leading losses, as sentiment was weighed by fears of a global economic slowdown.

The Nikkei share average .N225 fell 1.26% to 26,089.86 by the midday break, while the broader Topix .TOPX slipped 1.37% to 1,853.41. "Investors' focus have shifted to slowdown risks stemming from the ongoing tightening monetary policy," said Ikuo Mitsui, fund manager at Aizawa Securities.

"Wall Street rose overnight but that was because investors bought back growth shares that were beaten-down on concerns about rate increases."

In Japan, oil explorers .IMING.T tumbled almost 10% to become the worst performer among the 33 industry sub-indexes on the Tokyo Stock Exchange.

Crude futures rebounded on Wednesday as investors piled back in after the heavy rout in the previous session, shifting their focus again to supply concerns even as worries about a recession mounted.

Refiners .IPETE.T lost 6.33% and utilities .IEPNG.T fell 4.71%.

Oil explorer Inpex 1605.T was the worst performer on the Nikkei, down 9.92%, followed by refiner Idemitsu Kosan 5019.T , which lost 7.89%. Utility Tokyo Electric Power Company Holdings 9501.T tumbled 7.35%.

Travel and leisure-related shares also fell, as mass COVID-19 testing in China stocked fears of potential lockdowns.

Railways .IRAIL.T and airliners .IAIR.T slipped 1.57% and 2.85%, respectively.

Trading firms Mitsui & Co 8031.T and Mitsubishi Corp 8058.T fell 5.71% and 5.4%, respectively, after former Russian president Dmitry Medvedev made comments threatening the loss of oil and gas supply to Japan.

Bucking the trend, Eisai 4523.T jumped 4.89% after the drug maker and its partner Biogen BIIB.O said the U.S. Food and Drug Administration will expedite its review of experimental Alzheimer's drug lecanemab.

Reporting by Junko Fujita; Editing by Amy Caren Daniel

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