TOKYO, Nov 18 (Reuters) - Japan's Nikkei share average
closed lower on Friday, hurt by declines in growth shares amid
higher long-term bond yields, sending the benchmark to its first
weekly loss in four.
The Nikkei ended 0.11% lower at 27,899.77, reversing
small gains from earlier. For the week, the index lost about
The broader Topix eked out a 0.04% rise to 1,967.03
on the day, but still posted a 0.54% weekly loss, also snapping
a three-week rally.
The Topix growth share index slipped 0.14%,
compared to a 0.22% gain for value shares.
The U.S. S&P 500 fell overnight as St. Louis Federal
Reserve Bank President James Bullard said more interest rate
hikes are necessary. Long-term Treasury yields
bounced from six-week lows.
Amid an absence of strong trading cues leading up to the
next U.S. payrolls report at the start of December, "the Nikkei
is likely to continue to fluctuate in a range between 27,500 and
28,100," Kazuo Kamitani, an equity strategist at Nomura, said in
a media conference call.
"Around 28,000 feels a little heavy."
For the day, tech investor SoftBank Group was the
biggest drag on the Nikkei, shaving off 50 index points with its
Online retailer Rakuten Group, another growth
stock, was the biggest percentage decliner, dropping 5.55%.
Online hiring firm Recruit Holdings sank 3.19%.
However, winners outnumbered losers among the Nikkei's 225
components by 129 to 93, with three shares flat.
Automakers outperformed as the yen stabilized
around 140 per dollar, after reaching its strongest level since
August earlier in the week at 137.665. A stronger yen cuts the
value of repatriated overseas revenues.
Mitsubishi Motors rallied 2.77%, Isuzu
gained 2.67% and Mazda was up 2.54%. Toyota,
though, ended flat.
Among Nikkei sectors, utilities were the top performers, up
(Reporting by Kevin Buckland; Editing by Savio D'Souza and