TOKYO, Nov 12 (Reuters) - Japan's Nikkei share average
closed near a 29-1/2-year high on Thursday as technology shares
tracked their U.S. peers higher, although gains were checked by
profit-booking following a rally fuelled by optimism over
COVID-19 vaccine-related developments.
The benchmark Nikkei settled 0.68% higher at
25,520.88, after hitting its highest level since June 5, 1991
earlier in the session.
Stocks briefly fell into negative territory in afternoon
trade, as some investors turned cautious about the rally and
"Everybody cheered the vaccine headlines, but they have
begun to realise that there are many challenges, such as
logistics and vaccine performance," said Daisuke Uchiyama, a
senior strategist at Okasan Securities.
An increase in coronavirus cases in Europe and the United
States is making it difficult for investors to have an
optimistic view about the economic recovery, Uchiyama said.
Overnight, the tech-heavy Nasdaq ended 2% higher,
after "stay-at-home" stocks bounced back from two straight
sessions of sharp losses as investors moved away from
economically sensitive sectors back to tech.
Japan's tech-related shares such as heavyweight SoftBank
Group benefited from gains in their U.S. counterparts.
SoftBank climbed around 1.5%.
Among the top 30 core Topix names, Nintendo jumped
4.3% to snap four consecutive sessions of losses.
The broader Topix slipped 0.16% to 1,726.23 and
snapped seven consecutive sessions of gains. Only eight of the
33 sector sub-indexes on the Tokyo exchange traded higher.
Sectors such as real estate, airlines
and financials, which surged on vaccine
hopes, fell between 1.23% and 3.36%.
Elsewhere, Isetan Mitsukoshi Holdings fell about 5%
after it reported a half-year net loss of 36.79 billion yen
Some of its department store peers followed suit.
Takashimaya dropped 4.84%, while J.Front Retailing
($1 = 105.2700 yen)
(Reporting by Eimi Yamamitsu and Tokyo markets team; Editing by
Rashmi Aich and Subhranshu Sahu)