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Nikkei slips as investors turn cautious before Fed, BOJ meetings

12/09/2021 | 01:19am EDT

TOKYO, Dec 9 (Reuters) - Japan's Nikkei share average sank on Thursday, snapping a two-day winning streak, as investors turned cautious ahead of key central bank meetings next week.

The Nikkei 225 closed down 0.47% at 28,725.47, extending losses after the lunch break.

The index had touched a nearly two-week intraday high of 28,908.29 in the morning, but the 200-day moving average at 28,895.39 provided stiff resistance as investors took a breather following a more than 4% rally from last Thursday's close.

The U.S. Federal Reserve headlines a string of central bank policy decisions next week, which also includes the Bank of Japan and European Central Bank.

"Investors seem to want to take time to judge the direction of financial markets with so many key central banks meetings next week, so they are adopting a wait-and-see approach," said Masahiro Ichikawa, chief market strategist at Sumitomo Mitsui DS Asset Management.

The broader Topix also extended losses in the afternoon session, dropping 0.57%. Precision machinery , textiles and metal products stocks led declines.

Automakers also took a hit, with Nissan off 2.25%, and Honda down 1.11%.

Airlines, meanwhile, outperformed on hopes that the Omicron coronavirus variant will not significantly disrupt economic reopenings. Japan Airlines jumped 0.91% and ANA Holdings gained 0.31%

Pfizer and partner BioNTech said on Wednesday their three-shot course of the vaccine was able to neutralize the new variant in a laboratory test, and they could deliver an upgraded vaccine in March 2022 if needed.

Tech shares also rose, buoyed by overnight gains for their U.S. peers, which led the rally on Wall Street.

SoftBank Group gained 1.06%, the best performer on the Nikkei by index points.

Internet retailer Rakuten Group jumped 0.95%, while Lasertec climbed 1.53%.

Sauce-maker Kikkoman was the Nikkei's biggest percentage gainer, rallying 2.28%. (Editing by Devika Syamnath)

© Reuters 2021
Stocks mentioned in the article
ChangeLast1st jan.
ANA HOLDINGS INC. 0.89% 2506.5 Delayed Quote.3.33%
HONDA MOTOR CO., LTD. 0.63% 3218 Delayed Quote.-0.99%
JAPAN AIRLINES CO., LTD. 1.30% 2261 Delayed Quote.1.64%
KIKKOMAN CORPORATION -0.29% 6770 Delayed Quote.-29.78%
LASERTEC CORPORATION 3.04% 17985 Delayed Quote.-50.54%
NISSAN MOTOR CO LTD 2.88% 496.9 Delayed Quote.-13.10%
RAKUTEN, INC -1.04% 764 Delayed Quote.-33.10%
S&P 500 0.01% 3901.36 Real-time Quote.-18.16%
SOFTBANK GROUP CORP. 3.50% 5232 Delayed Quote.-6.97%
TOPIX INDEX 0.93% 1877.37 Delayed Quote.-6.64%
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