Japan stocks slip on vaccine worries, profit-taking ahead of earnings

  • Reuters
  • Stock Market News
Japan stocks slip on vaccine worries, profit-taking ahead of earnings
Credit: © Reuters.

By Stanley White

TOKYO, Jan 26 (Reuters) - Japanese shares fell on Tuesday, as worries about delays in distributing coronavirus vaccines and as jitters before earnings season triggered profit-taking in stocks that are sensitive to the economic cycle.

The Nikkei 225 Index .N225 fell 0.65% to 28,635.54 by 0136 GMT, with consumer cyclicals, energy and materials makers leading the decline. The broader Topix .TOPX fell 0.52% to 1,852.34.

The United States has struggled to ramp up vaccinations, European countries are facing delays from suppliers, and Japan is yet to start vaccinations, which is weighing on investor sentiment. addition, Merck & Co Inc MRK.N has ended development of its COVID-19 vaccines, raising additional concern about a lack of supply. shares jumped to a 30-year high last week, but a busy earnings calendar in the United States and Japan this week, as well as a Federal Reserve meeting ending Wednesday, is prompting investors to take profits.

"There are renewed concerns that the coronavirus will be with us longer than anticipated, which explains the decline in cyclical stocks and gains in defensive shares," said Norihiro Fujito, chief investment strategist at Mitsubishi UFJ Morgan Stanley (NYSE: MS ) Securities.

Several Bank of Japan policymakers called for more flexible purchases of exchange-traded funds, which may emerge as another negative factor for equities when the central bank reviews its policies in March, according to some analysts. underperformers on the Topix 30 were Daikin Industries Ltd 6367.T , down 2.38%, followed by Toyota Motor Corp 7203.T losing 2.07%.

Top gainers were Takeda Pharmaceutical Co Ltd 4502.T , up 1.99%, followed by Nidec Corp 6594.T rising 1.96.

There were 57 advancers on the Nikkei index against 162 decliners.

The volume of shares traded on the Tokyo Stock Exchange's main board .TOPX was 0.4 billion, compared to the average of 1.12 billion in the past 30 days.

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