Japanese shares fall on profit booking, checking U.S. rates

  • Reuters
  • Stock Market News
Japanese shares fall on profit booking, checking U.S. rates

TOKYO, April 6 (Reuters) - Japanese shares gave up early gains and slipped on Tuesday, as investors booked profits from recent rallies and treaded with caution as they await clues over the direction of U.S. interest rates.

Nikkei share average .N225 lost 0.81% to 29,844.81 by 0208 GMT, after hitting the 30,000 mark for the first time in more than two weeks on Monday. The broader Topix .TOPX fell 0.74% to 1,968.80

"Investors who bought stocks when the Nikkei hit the 30,000 mark earlier this year were disappointed when the index fell well below that level. Those who do not want to repeat that risk were selling the shares today," said Takatoshi Itoshima, strategist at Pictet Asset Management.

"The market fundamental is strong. But ultimately the stimulus packages in the U.S. and the direction of the long term interest rates could determine the move of the Japanese market."

U.S. Treasury yields edged lower overnight, as investors paused recent selling of government bonds, though the uptrend in rates remained intact following Friday's blockbuster jobs report. heavyweights Fast Retailing 9983.T , an operator of Uniqlo brand clothing stores, fell 1.44% and Tokyo Electron 8035.T lost 1.62%.

Mizuho Financial Group 8411.T dropped 2.43% after the bank said it would revise its IT contingency plans by the end of June, as it suffered four systems glitches during two weeks from February to March. UFJ Financial Group 8306.T lost 2.28% and Sumitomo Mitsui Financial Group 8316.T fell 1.85%.

Tracking a 4% decline in oil prices, oil and gas explorers Inpex 1605.T lost 2.45% and Japan Petroleum Exploration 1662.T slipped 1.77%.

The stocks that gained the most among the top 30 core Topix names were Hitachi 6501.T , up 1.12 %, followed by Kao 4452.T .

The underperformers among the Topix 30 were Takeda Pharmaceutical 4502.T , down 2.51%, followed by Mizuho Financial Group.

There were 61 advancers on the Nikkei index against 160 decliners.

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