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Nikkei eases off 29-1/2-year high on profit-taking

Published 2020/12/07, 08:34
Updated 2020/12/07, 08:36
© Reuters.

TOKYO, Dec 7 (Reuters) - Japan shares closed lower on Monday, with the Nikkei pulling back from a more than 29-1/2-year high, as five straight weeks of gains raised some concerns of an overheating market and spurred investors to book profits.

The Nikkei index .N225 fell 0.76% to 26,547.44, after hitting its highest level since April 1991 at the open. The broader Topix .TOPX lost 0.86% to 1,760.75.

Tokyo stocks initially tracked positive cues from Wall Street's Friday session before reversing course on profit-taking.

Major U.S. stock indexes rose to all-time highs last week as downbeat U.S. jobs data raised expectations for a new fiscal relief bill. .N

Back home, Prime Minister Yoshihide Suga said he would decide on an economic stimulus package early this week, adding that green and digital initiatives would be core to the recovery from the coronavirus pandemic. stocks have been prone to profit-booking due to persistent concerns of an overheating market, some market participants said.

Other headwinds for the market included rising coronavirus cases in Japan and falls in U.S. stock futures on the back of growing concerns over tensions between China and the United States.

Reuters exclusively reported, citing sources, that the United States was preparing sanctions on Chinese officials over their alleged role in Beijing's disqualification of elected opposition legislators in Hong Kong. the Topix 30 underperformers, Shin-Etsu Chemical Co Ltd 4063.T fell 2.62% and Nidec Corp 6594.T lost 2.22%.

The top percentage losers in the index were Olympus Corp 7733.T , ANA Holdings 9202.T and Kawasaki Kisen Kaisha 9107.T , falling between 5.06% and 5.32%.

Semiconductor stocks tracked their U.S. peers higher, with Advantest 6857.T edging 0.54% higher and Tokyo Electron 8035.T adding 1.4%.

Dentsu Group Inc 4324.T rose as much as 1.13% before closing down nearly 0.6%, after the Japanese advertising giant said it was expecting a smaller net loss for the year ending in December compared to the prior year.

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