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Waning buybacks hardly a vote of confidence in Tokyo equities

Some companies don't think their shares are a good deal

TOKYO -- Calm quickly returned to stock market here a day after North Korea fired a missile over Japan, but a decline in share repurchases by listed companies poses a potentially more nagging concern, particularly for foreign investors.

The benchmark Nikkei Stock Average gained 0.74% Wednesday to close at 19,506.54. The Nikkei Volatility Index, known as the fear gauge, remained around 15, indicating that investors were not losing their cool. Tuesday's missile launch produced a "knee-jerk reaction," albeit one without legs, said Kunio Kataoka of Fivestar Asset Management.

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