TOKYO, Nov 17 (Reuters) - Japanese shares were flat on
Tuesday as investors booked profits following the recent surge
in the benchmark index, even as news of another promising
coronavirus vaccine re-ignited hopes of a swift global recovery.
The Nikkei share average, which has gained 12.6% so
far this month, was nearly flat at 25,913.41 by the midday
break. It briefly touched its highest since May 1991 in early
trade, tracking overnight gains on Wall Street.
The benchmark index on Monday closed at a 29-year high after
the economy posted its first expansion in four quarters.
"The market has been overheated by a high-paced rise, and it
would be no wonder if stocks go into correction at any time in
the short term," said Maki Sawada, equity market strategist at
The S&P 500 and Dow Jones industrial average notched record
closing highs on Monday after Moderna Inc said its
experimental COVID-19 vaccine was 94.5% effective in preventing
infection based on interim late-stage data.
The broader Topix eased 0.26% to 1,727.39. Nearly
half of the 33 sector sub-indexes on the Tokyo exchange traded
The airline sector led gains, rising 3.61%, with ANA
Holdings and Japan Airlines adding 4% and 3%,
Other cyclical sectors followed, with insurers
climbing 2.56%, miners adding 2.46% and real estate
Semiconductor Tokyo Electron rose 1.2% to a record
high, taking positive cues from its U.S. peers.
Nikkei's heavyweight Fanuc Corp rose nearly 1.8%,
helped by upbeat industrial output data from China and the
formation of a regional trade bloc comprising 15 Asia-Pacific
The Mothers Index of start-up firm shares, however,
(Reporting by Eimi Yamamitsu and Tokyo markets team; Editing by