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Japanese shares slip as investors book profits in chip stocks

02/23/2021 | 09:39pm EDT

TOKYO, Feb 24 (Reuters) - Japanese shares fell on Wednesday as investors booked profits in chip-related shares following a decline in the Nasdaq index, while the pandemic-driven stocks shined on hopes for normalization in the economy.

The Nikkei share average slipped 0.7% to 29,952.25 by 0203 GMT, while the broader Topix fell 0.86% to 1921.68.

"Unstable moves of the U.S. market overnight has made investors in Japan get worried about the outlook," said Koichi Kurose, chief strategist at Resona Asset Management.

"Investors are rotating their targets now because of the rollouts of vaccines, which makes the virus-hit shares attractive."

The Nasdaq was the only major U.S. stock index to lose ground overnight while Wall Street reversed its losses, with the S&P 500 and the Dow reclaiming positive territory.

Chip and electronics shares fell in Japan, with Nidec falling 4.3%, Murata Manufacturing slipping 4.05%, Shin-Etsu Chemical losing 3.44% and Tokyo Electron falling 1.81%.

On the other hand, shares of department store operators jumped. J.Front Retailing, up 5.85%, was the biggest gainer in the Nikkei, followed by Isetan Mitsukoshi Holdings , which rose 5.74%, and Takashimaya that gained 5.7%.

Governors of Osaka and other main western cities have requested early lifting of a state of emergency as Japan's COVID-19 cases began falling, according to local media reports.

Railway and airline shares gained, with Japan Airlines rising 4.68% and ANA Holdings gaining 3.25%.

Central Japan Railway jumped 1.88% even as the operator of bullet trains between Tokyo and Osaka flagged bigger losses for the year ended March. East Japan Railway rose 1.77%.

The stocks that gained the most among the top 30 core Topix included Mitsui & Co, up 2.69 %, followed by Hitachi Ltd that rose 2.53%.

The underperformers among the Topix 30 were Hoya Corp , down 5.44%, followed by Keyence Corp that lost 4.65%. (Reporting by Junko Fujita; Editing by Vinay Dwivedi)

© Reuters 2021
Stocks mentioned in the article
ChangeLast1st jan.
ANA HOLDINGS INC. -0.61% 2292 End-of-day quote.0.66%
CENTRAL JAPAN RAILWAY COMPANY 0.33% 15245 End-of-day quote.4.49%
DJ INDUSTRIAL -0.05% 34120.97 Delayed Quote.10.50%
EAST JAPAN RAILWAY COMPANY 0.40% 7215 End-of-day quote.4.79%
HITACHI, LTD. 2.98% 5121 End-of-day quote.25.98%
HOYA CORPORATION 1.19% 13195 End-of-day quote.-7.53%
ISETAN MITSUKOSHI HOLDINGS LTD. 1.59% 704 End-of-day quote.15.41%
J. FRONT RETAILING CO., LTD. 2.51% 939 End-of-day quote.15.21%
JAPAN AIRLINES CO., LTD. 0.14% 2153 End-of-day quote.7.92%
KEYENCE CORPORATION 3.89% 51860 End-of-day quote.-10.59%
MITSUI & CO., LTD. 0.38% 2271.5 End-of-day quote.20.22%
MURATA MANUFACTURING CO., LTD. 2.06% 8910 End-of-day quote.-4.40%
NASDAQ 100 0.09% 13949.950041 Delayed Quote.8.12%
NASDAQ COMP. 0.41% 14008.829388 Delayed Quote.8.24%
NIDEC CORPORATION 4.49% 13970 End-of-day quote.7.63%
NIKKEI 225 2.38% 29188.17 Real-time Quote.3.88%
RENESAS ELECTRONICS CORPORATION 1.39% 1244 End-of-day quote.15.29%
S&P 500 0.12% 4178.57 Delayed Quote.10.09%
SHIN-ETSU CHEMICAL CO., LTD. 3.45% 19345 End-of-day quote.7.23%
TAKASHIMAYA COMPANY, LIMITED 0.81% 1125 End-of-day quote.27.12%
TOKYO ELECTRON LIMITED 4.58% 49600 End-of-day quote.29.17%
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