Photographer: Shiho Fukada/Bloomberg

Slumping Japanese Retailers Push Nikkei 225 Toward the Red

The Nikkei 225 Stock Average, Japan’s blue-chip barometer, is on the cusp of erasing its 2017 gains.

Angst over terrorist attacks and simmering tension between the U.S. and neighboring North Korea have been a boon to the yen, which typically translates into Japanese stock losses. Add to that declines in Fast Retailing Co. -- the Uniqlo clothing-brand owner that has the biggest weighting on the Nikkei 225 -- and convenience-store operator FamilyMart UNY Holdings Co., which is being hit by lackluster consumer confidence and wage growth.

The index is about 1.5 percentage points from erasing its year-to-date gains.

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