Japan's Nikkei closes below 30,000 on profit booking in tech shares

  • Reuters
  • Stock Market News
Japan's Nikkei closes below 30,000 on profit booking in tech shares
Credit: © Reuters.

TOKYO, Feb 24 (Reuters) - Japanese shares fell on Wednesday, closing below the 30,000 milestone for the first time in seven sessions, as investors booked profits in technology shares following a decline in the Nasdaq index .

The Nikkei share average .N225 slipped 1.61% to 29,671.70, falling below the psychologically important mark hit last week, while the broader Topix .TOPX fell 1.82% to 1,903.07.

"Unstable moves of the U.S. market overnight has made investors in Japan get worried about the outlook," said Koichi Kurose, chief strategist at Resona Asset Management.

"Investors are rotating their targets now because of the rollouts of vaccines, which makes the virus-hit shares attractive."

The Nasdaq fell overnight, becoming the only major U.S. stock index to lose ground while Wall Street reversed its losses, with the S&P 500 and the Dow reclaiming positive territory. .N

In Japan, index heavyweight SoftBank Group 9984.T , down 5.2%, was the biggest contributor to Nikkei's fall.

Chip-related shares also dragged the index down, with Fanuc 6954.T losing 4.66%, Tokyo Electron 8035.T falling 2.74% and Shin-Etsu Chemical 4063.T slipping 4.35%.

Pandemic-driven stocks including department store operators gained on hopes for normalization in the economy. Isetan Mitsukoshi Holdings 3099.T , up 5.19%, was the top Nikkei gainer, followed by Takashimaya 8233.T , which rose 4.94%. J.Front Retailing 3086.T rose 4.64%.

Regional governments in Japan have requested emergency pandemic measures be lifted ahead of the March 7 scheduled end as new COVID-19 cases trend lower, the country's economy minister said. and airline shares gained, with Japan Airlines 9201.T rising 3.6% and ANA Holdings 9202.T gaining 2.12%.

Central Japan Railway 9022.T jumped 1.25% even as the operator of bullet trains between Tokyo and Osaka flagged bigger losses for the year ended March. East Japan Railway 9020.T rose 1.77%.

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