September 30, 2019 / 2:40 AM / a year ago

Nikkei slips but on track for best month in a year; U.S.-China trade tensions weigh

TOKYO, Sept 30 (Reuters) - Japan’s Nikkei average is on track for its best month in a year though it fell on Monday after news that the U.S. administration is considering delisting Chinese companies from U.S. exchanges.

The benchmark Nikkei average declined 0.5% to 21,780.20 by the midday break, but at 5.2% higher for the month, it is heading for its best monthly performance since September 2018.

The broader Topix index dipped 0.8% to 1,591.46 with all but two of its 33 subindexes trading in negative territory. It has nevertheless advanced 5.3% so far in September, putting it on track for its best month in nearly two years.

Risk assets took a hit in U.S. trade on Friday following news that the administration of President Donald Trump is considering new financial pressure tactics on China, including the possibility of delisting Chinese companies from U.S. stock exchanges.

Analysts said Japanese shares are generally more sensitive to China’s economic performance than U.S. counterparts.

On Tokyo’s bourse, electric and gas, mining and air transport were the worst three performers of the Topix’s subindexes, down 2.7%, 1.7% and 1.7% respectively.

Kansai Electric Power Co Inc continued to dive, shedding 6.9%, after the utility’s President Shigeki Iwane on Friday said he and 19 employees, including other executives, received payments and gifts worth 320 million yen ($3 million) from “a person outside the company”.

Elsewhere, Unizo Holdings Co Ltd jumped 4.8% after the hotel operator withdrew support for a $1.3 billion takeover bid by Fortress Investment Group - backed by SoftBank Group Corp - saying it wanted better terms, heightening the possibility of a higher offer price.

($1 = 107.9300 yen)

Reporting by Tomo Uetake; Editing by Christopher Cushing

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