Japanese Shares Fall on ProfitTaking, Pandemic Worries

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TOKYO, May 27 Reuters Japanese shares fell on Thursday as investors trimmed their positions after a recent rally, with a possible extension of COVID19 emergency measures fuelling concerns about domestic economic growth.

The Nikkei share average trimmed the days losses to close 0.33 lower at 28,549.01, but still snapped a fiveday, 2.1 winning run. The broader Topix fell 0.5 to 1,911.02.

We can say the market is down due to profittaking, but there are also uncertainties ahead of us that are making investors cautious, said Takatoshi Itoshima, strategist at Pictet Asset Management.

Overseas investors particularly are sceptical about the pace of Japans COVID19 vaccine rollouts, while the economic outlook remains unclear as Japan is leaning toward extending the state of emergency.

Japan, which is slated to host the delayed Tokyo 2020 Olympics in July, is struggling to contain a fourth wave of infections.

Tokyo governor Yuriko Koike on Wednesday sought to extend the current state of emergency, originally set to be lifted at the end of May, for about another month, while Osaka in the western region has made a similar request.

Steel makers and shippers led Thursdays declines, falling 2.6 and 2.3, respectively, while air transport gained the most on the exchange, rising 2.3.

Astellas Pharma, up 3.4, was the biggest percentage gainer among the top 30 core Topix names. Murata Manufacturing Co led laggards with a 3 slide.

Meanwhile, daily turnover swelled to 5.6 trillion…

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