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Nikkei slides, weak U.S. retail sales trigger profit-taking

Published 2019/02/15, 08:44
Updated 2019/02/15, 08:50
© Reuters.  Nikkei slides, weak U.S. retail sales trigger profit-taking
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* Nikkei rises 2.8 pct for the week

* Financial firms lose ground on falling U.S. yields

* Japan Display falls after it forecasts 5th straight yr of losses

By Ayai Tomisawa

TOKYO, Feb 15 (Reuters) - Japan's Nikkei fell on Friday as bleak U.S. retail sales data dampened investor risk appetite and dragged down the broader market, with exporters and financial firms underperforming.

The Nikkei share average .N225 dropped 1.1 percent to 20,900.63, retreating from a two-month high of 21,235.62 hit on Thursday. For the week, the index rose 2.8 percent.

"The Japanese market enjoyed a short-term rally but the upside seems limited as there are still concerns about global slowdown in the mid to long term," said Shogo Maekawa, a global market strategist at JPMorgan (NYSE:JPM) Asset Management.

Overall sentiment was hurt by a report from the U.S. Commerce Department showing retail sales in December suffered their biggest drop in more than nine years, stoking fears of an economic slowdown. were broadly lower, after the yen rose 0.1 percent against the dollar to 110.39.

Honda Motor Co 7267.T shed 2.3 percent, Mazda Motor 7261.T declined 1.9 percent, Panasonic Corp 6752.T dropped 1.7 percent and Nintendo Co 7974.T fell 1.9 percent.

Financial firms, which hunt for higher yields such as foreign bonds, were also pressured after U.S. Treasury yields fell on Thursday on weak U.S. retail sales.

Dai-ichi Life Holdings 8750.T tumbled 4.7 percent, T&D Holdings 8795.T dropped 3.5 percent and Mitsubishi UFJ Financial Group 8306.T slipped 1.4 percent.

Japan Display Inc 6740.T dropped 2.7 percent after diving as much as 9.5 percent after the company said it expects to post its fifth straight year of net losses, with a late shift to organic light-emitting diode (OLED) screens and slowing iPhone sales costing it orders from Apple Inc AAPL.O , its biggest client. broader Topix .TOPX dropped 0.8 percent to 1,577.29. Declining issues outnumbered advancing ones 1,311 to 726. (Editing by Jacqueline Wong)

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