Nikkei weakens from early gains as boost from Yellen runs out of gas

  • Reuters
  • Stock Market News
Nikkei weakens from early gains as boost from Yellen runs out of gas
Credit: © Reuters.

TOKYO, Jan 20 (Reuters) - Japanese shares trimmed early gains on Wednesday on profit-booking as U.S. Treasury Secretary nominee Janet Yellen's call for big spending was perceived by investors as no surprise.

Nikkei share average .N225 edged down 0.36% to 28,529.97 at 0149 GMT, while the broader Topix .TOPX inched down 0.52% to 1,846.20.

Yellen's push for a sizable fiscal relief package in response to the COVID-19 pandemic sent the Wall Street's main indexes higher on Tuesday.

Yellen urged lawmakers to "act big" on the next package, adding that the benefits outweigh the costs of a higher debt burden. since Yellen's remarks have been reported by media in advance, there was no fresh reaction in the Japanese market, said Masahiro Ichikawa, chief market strategist at Sumitomo Mitsui DS Asset Management. 

"Yellen's speech was fully priced in today's market. Investors are selling shares for profit taking," Ichikawa said.

The decline is capped by chip and electronic component shares. Taiyo Yuden 6976.T jumped 4.09% and Tokyo Electron 8035.T gained 1.2%. Rohm Co 6963.T rose 1.69% and TDK Corp 6762.T was up 0.57%.

ANA Holdings 9202.T fell 2.42% after Jiji press reported the airline would post its worst current profit for nine months through December. Japan Airlines 9201.T fell 1.77%.

The largest percentage gainers in the index were Sumitomo Chemical 4005.T , which jumped 8.24%, followed by Tokyo Electric Power Company Holdings 9501.T gaining 5.65%.

The largest percentage losers were Daiichi Sankyo 4568.T , which fell 3.73 %, followed by Z Holdings Corp 4689.T losing 3.25 % and Mitsui OSK Lines 9104.T losing 2.78 %.

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