Nikkei Slips on ProfitTaking, Logs Weekly Gain


TOKYO, Feb 19 (Reuters) – Japan’s Nikkei share average slipped on Friday as profit-taking ahead of the weekend trumped optimism over a broad economic recovery, though the index gained for a third straight week.

The Nikkei fell 0.72% to 30,017.92, moving further away from its 30-1/2-year high of 30,714.52 touched on Monday. Still, it managed to end the week 1.69% higher.

The broader Topix slipped 0.67% to 1,928.95 and was down 0.25% for the week.

“Since the rally had been quite fast, we are having a bit of correction,” said Hideyuki Ishiguro, a senior strategist at Daiwa Securities, adding that the Nikkei’s drop was in line with falls in global stocks.

Fast Retailing, which has the highest weight in the Nikkei, fell 2.4%, reversing early gains as investors took profits following its almost 10% rise this week.

Strong gains in Fast Retailing and other Nikkei heavyweights including SoftBank Group have boosted the index more than the broader Topix, lifting the NT ratio to a record 15.60 earlier in the day.

“It’s true that Fast Retailing’s earnings were pretty strong but you could say that’s all priced in, with its extremely high valuations,” said Fumio Matsumoto, chief strategist at Okasan Securities.

Online brokerage Monex tumbled 10.4% after having more doubled since the start of month by Thursday.

Some travel-related shares also slipped after gains earlier this week following the start of the country’s COVID-19 vaccination programme.

ANA Holdings fell 3.9%, while Japan Airlines fell 3.7%. Central Japan Railway lost 3.7%.

Some tech names, however, bucked the trend, with capacitor maker Taiyo Yuden gaining 3.4%.

Toyota Boshoku rose 1.7% after the company said Toyota Motor had sold a portion of its stake in the firm, a move that is intended to increase free-floating shares and enables the firm to be listed in the top-tier segment of the Tokyo bourse in an upcoming board reshuffle in 2022.

(Reporting by Hideyuki Sano; Editing by Subhranshu Sahu and Vinay Dwivedi)

Source: Reuters


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