Nikkei flat as profit-taking offsets vaccine optimism

  • Reuters
  • Stock Market News
Nikkei flat as profit-taking offsets vaccine optimism
Credit: © Reuters.

TOKYO, Nov 17 (Reuters) - Japanese shares were flat on Tuesday as investors booked profits following the recent surge in the benchmark index, even as news of another promising coronavirus vaccine re-ignited hopes of a swift global recovery.

The Nikkei share average .N225 , which has gained 12.6% so far this month, was nearly flat at 25,913.41 by the midday break. It briefly touched its highest since May 1991 in early trade, tracking overnight gains on Wall Street.

The benchmark index on Monday closed at a 29-year high after the economy posted its first expansion in four quarters. market has been overheated by a high-paced rise, and it would be no wonder if stocks go into correction at any time in the short term," said Maki Sawada, equity market strategist at Nomura Securities.

The S&P 500 and Dow Jones industrial average notched record closing highs on Monday after Moderna Inc MRNA.O said its experimental COVID-19 vaccine was 94.5% effective in preventing infection based on interim late-stage data. broader Topix .TOPX eased 0.26% to 1,727.39. Nearly half of the 33 sector sub-indexes on the Tokyo exchange traded higher.

The airline sector led gains, rising 3.61%, with ANA Holdings 9202.T and Japan Airlines 9201.T adding 4% and 3%, respectively.

Other cyclical sectors followed, with insurers .IINSU.T climbing 2.56%, miners .IMING.T adding 2.46% and real estate .IRLTY.T up 1.49%.

Semiconductor Tokyo Electron 8035.T rose 1.2% to a record high, taking positive cues from its U.S. peers.

Nikkei's heavyweight Fanuc Corp 6954.T rose nearly 1.8%, helped by upbeat industrial output data from China and the formation of a regional trade bloc comprising 15 Asia-Pacific economies. Mothers Index .MTHR of start-up firm shares, however, dropped 3.73%.

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