TOKYO, June 9 (Reuters) - Japanese equities closed lower on
Wednesday, on profit-booking in shippers and semiconductor
stocks, with investors awaiting U.S. inflation data as it could
influence how soon the Federal Reserve pares its stimulus
Financial firms and insurers declined after a retreat in
long-term U.S. Treasury yields dampened the outlook for returns
on their portfolios.
Eisai Co, however, surged 16.26%, rising by the
daily limit for a second straight session after its Alzheimer's
drug received a nod from U.S. regulators on Monday.
The Nikkei share average ended 0.35% lower at
28,860.80, while the broader Topix was down 0.28% at
"Japanese investors want to see the U.S. CPI number
tomorrow, and if it's not faster than expected, that should come
as a relief to markets and could very well result in a rally,"
said Masahiro Ichikawa, chief market strategist at Sumitomo
Mitsui DS Asset Management.
Right now though, "there's a strong wait-and-see attitude
overall in markets," he said, adding that investors booked
profits and squared positions ahead of the data.
The Topix's sea transport subsector was the
biggest decliner, sliding 3.33%, following its surge to the
highest in more than a decade. Kawasaki Kisen led
declines on the Nikkei with a 4.54% tumble, while Mitsui OSK
Lines lost 3.59%.
Semiconductor firm Lasertec dropped 3.86%,
declining for a third day after climbing to a record peak.
Air transport was the best performing subsector,
rising 3.26%, followed by a 3.11% jump for real estate
, as Japan's accelerating coronavirus vaccination
programme buoyed the outlook for people to return to offices and
start travelling by airplane again.
Pharmaceutical companies rose 1.18%.
After Eisai, Sumitomo Realty and Development Co was
the best performer on the Nikkei, with a 7.55% rally. Mitsubishi
Estate and Tokyo Tatemono followed suit,
rising 4.05% and 3.75%, respectively. Airline ANA Holdings
(Reporting by Kevin Buckland in Tokyo; editing by Uttaresh.V)