Japan shares slip from 30-year high on profit booking, pandemic-hit stocks rise

  • Reuters
  • Stock Market News
Japan shares slip from 30-year high on profit booking, pandemic-hit stocks rise
Credit: © Reuters.

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 slump.

The Nikkei share average edged down 0.58% to 30,292.19 .N225 from Tuesday's high of 30,714.52, a peak since August 1990.

The broader Topix .TOPX 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 Management.

"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 6762.T down 3.23%, Yaskawa Electric 6506.T losing 3.23% and Tokyo Electron 8035.T shedding 2.2%.

The declines followed a drop overnight in U.S. technology stocks .SPLRCT .

Bridgestone 5108.T 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. whose valuations had shot up after a recent rally also took a hit, with M3 2413.T falling 3.88% and Keyence 6861.T losing 1.09%.

On the other hand, travel- and leisure-related shares did well after Japan launched its COVID-19 inoculation drive on Wednesday. Holdings 9202.T jumped 4.19% while Japan Airlines 9201.T rose 4.21%. Central Japan Railway 9022.T , which runs bullet trains connecting Tokyo and Osaka, rose 2.52%.

Oriental Land 4661.T , the operator of Tokyo Disney Resort, rose 3.41%.

Shipping firms Kawasaki Kisen 9107.T jumped 5.69% and Mitsui OSK Lines 9104.T gained 4.45%.

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