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
"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
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
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
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
(Reporting by Junko Fujita;
Editing by Vinay Dwivedi)