Japan's Nikkei slips off 14-month high, Hitachi soars

  • Reuters
  • Stock Market News
Japan's Nikkei slips off 14-month high, Hitachi soars
Credit: © Reuters.

TOKYO, Dec 19 (Reuters) - Japan's Nikkei share average .n225 dipped on Thursday as profit-taking set in after a recent rally to 14-month highs while Hitachi 6501.T spiked higher on its business portfolio restructuring.

The Nikkei share average .N225 fell 0.32% to 23,858.75, slipping further from Tuesday's 14-month peak of 14,091.12, while the broader Topix .TOPX lost 0.25% to 1,734.13.

Many investors were eager to take profits at current levels following gains of almost 20% since a bottom in August on hopes of a cyclical recovery in the global economy, and lately, on relief over a first phase Sino-U.S. trade deal.

"The Nikkei is now trading at 16 times its 12-month forward earnings so it is now on the expensive side for a normal time even though you wouldn't call it a bubble," said Nobuhiko Kuramochi, chief strategist at Mizuho Securities.

Meanwhile, few expect the impeachment of U.S. President Donald Trump to roil markets but are closely monitoring developments. shares such as securities brokerages .ISECU.T and shippers .ISHIP.T were among the main drag, falling 1.6% and 1.3% respectively.

On the other hand, Hitachi 6501.T jumped 4.1% to a near two-year high as investors welcomed its business restructuring drive.

The company said it would sell its listed chemicals unit, Hitachi Chemical 4271.T as well as its diagnostic imaging business in deals totalling 673 billion yen ($6.2 billion). Chemical rose 11.6% while Showa Denko 4004.T , which bought the chemical firm, dropped 1.1%.

The buyer of Hitachi's imaging business, Fujifilm Holdings 4901.T , ticked up 0.9%.

Isuzu Motors 7202.T dropped 3.9% after it announced a deal to buy UD Trucks from Sweden's Volvo AB VOLVb.ST . The deal was announced after the market close on Wednesday.

Some semi-conductor related shares gained following a jump in Micron Technologies MU.O after the bell on Wednesday.

The U.S. chipmaker said it expected a recovery in 2020 after a "cyclical bottom" in the second quarter, and also that it had received all requested licences to supply some products to its largest customer, China's Huawei. helped to lift Sumco 3436.T 3.6%, Advantest 6857.T 2.4% and Disco 6146.T 2.2%. (Editing by Jacqueline Wong)

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