Nikkei slips from 30-year peak as focus shifts to corporate earnings

Nikkei slips from 30-year peak as focus shifts to corporate earnings

TOKYO: Japanese shares retreated from a 30-year peak on Friday, as investors refrained from placing big bets ahead of the corporate earnings season while some locked in profit after a recent rally, which was driven by hopes of a massive US stimulus.

Nikkei share average ended 0.44 per cent lower at 28,631.45, while the broader Topix closed 0.21 per cent weaker at 1,856.64. In the previous session, the index closed at a 30-year high on optimism that a massive stimulus plan by US President Joe Biden will bolster growth.

“Friday’s decline is mainly due to profit-taking after US stocks touched new highs,” said Hideyuki Ishiguro, senior strategist, Daiwa Securities.

“Investors are also holding off from buying ahead of earnings reports next week.”

Asian shares eased from record highs as investors took some money off the table after the recent stimulus-driven rally.

Wall Street peaked overnight, with both the S&P 500 and Nasdaq Composite closing at record highs, pushed upward by continued optimism over a stimulus to weather the fallout of the pandemic.

Ad agency Dentsu Group closed 2.19 per cent lower after a Times report earlier in the day stated the Japanese government has privately concluded that the Tokyo Olympics will be cancelled. The government flatly denied the report.

Nippon Steel fell 3.51 per cent after announcing plans to boost its stake in Tokyo Rope in a public tender offer.

Tokyo Rope surged 28 per cent to a limit high after being untraded earlier in the session with a glut of bids.

Shiseido jumped 4.33 per cent after the cosmetic firm said it was in talks to sell its shampoo and skincare business to private equity CVC Capital Partners.

Panasonic rose 3.28 per cent after Morgan Stanley MUFG Securities raised its target price to 1,700 yen from 1,400 yen.

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