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Japan's Nikkei set to snap four sessions of gains on growth worries

TOKYO, May 19 (Reuters) - Japan's Nikkei share average was set to snap a four-session rally on Thursday after Wall Street plunged overnight on fears that surging inflation would eat into corporate profits and usher in an economic slowdown.

Dragged down by losses in retailer Fast Retailing (FRCOF), the Nikkei was 2.6% lower at 26,212.25 as of 0213 GMT. The broader Topix fell 2.09% to 1,845.07.

"With the U.S. shares losing momentum, it was hard for Japanese shares to rise," said Seiichi Suzuki, chief equity market analyst at Tokai Tokyo Research Institute.

"But the Nikkei is relatively firm as it has not touched a bottom it hit in March. That is because in part the weaker yen makes Japanese shares look cheaper and lifted corporate profits."

U.S. stock indexes plunged on Wednesday after Target's (TGT) earnings showed the toll of rising price pressures, sending the retailer's shares down by a quarter and deepening worries about the impact of inflation on the U.S. economy.

It was the worst one-day loss for the S&P 500 and Dow Jones Industrial Average since June 2020.

In Tokyo trading, Uniqlo owner Fast Retailing (FRCOF) fell 3.36% and chip-making equipment maker Tokyo Electron (TOELF) lost 3.57%. Technology start-up investor SoftBank Group (SFTBF) dropped 2.45%.

All the 33 industry sub-indexes on the Tokyo Stock Exchange were lower, with shipping firms leading the losses.

Auto and parts makers lost 2.83% as Toyota Motor (TM) and its affiliate Denso (DNZOF) slipped 2.81% and 3.46%, respectively.

Nintendo (NTDOF) slipped 0.51% after a filing showed Saudi Arabia-Linked public investment fund owned a 5.01% stake in the game maker.

There were 8 advancers on the Nikkei index against 215 decliners.

The volume of shares traded on the Tokyo Stock Exchange's main board was 0.64 billion, compared to the average of 1.25 billion in the past 30 days. (Reporting by Junko Fujita; Editing by Aditya Soni)

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