TOKYO, Feb 17 (Reuters) - Japanese shares fell on Wednesday
as investors booked profits after a recent rally drove them to a
30-year high, even as pandemic-beaten shares gained on
expectations for an economic recovery from a coronavirus-driven
The Nikkei share average edged down 0.58% to 30,292.19
from Tuesday's high of 30,714.52, a peak since August
The broader Topix slipped 0.18% to 1,961.49, a day
after scaling its highest since June 1991.
"Investors are selling stocks for profit booking today. The
market is taking a pause from a rising momentum," said Masahiro
Ichikawa, chief market strategist at Sumitomo Mitsui DS Asset
"Shares that were beaten down amid the pandemic are being
bought as rising interest rates in the U.S. and Japan indicates
an economic recovery. Rollouts of COVID-19 vaccines in Japan is
another positive factor."
Chip and electronics shares led losses in Nikkei, with TDK
down 3.23%, Yaskawa Electric losing 3.23% and
Tokyo Electron shedding 2.2%.
The declines followed a drop overnight in U.S. technology
Bridgestone fell 4.13% after the tire maker posted
its first annual net loss in 69 years due to impairment and
restructuring costs, following the pandemic.
Shares whose valuations had shot up after a recent rally
also took a hit, with M3 falling 3.88% and Keyence
On the other hand, travel- and leisure-related shares did
well after Japan launched its COVID-19 inoculation drive on
ANA Holdings jumped 4.19% while Japan Airlines
rose 4.21%. Central Japan Railway, which runs
bullet trains connecting Tokyo and Osaka, rose 2.52%.
Oriental Land, the operator of Tokyo Disney Resort,
Shipping firms Kawasaki Kisen jumped 5.69% and
Mitsui OSK Lines gained 4.45%.
(Reporting by Junko Fujita;
Editing by Vinay Dwivedi)