Nikkei slips on profit-taking after recent rally; semi-conductors weigh

Nikkei slips on profit-taking after recent rally; semi-conductors weigh

TOKYO: Japanese stock prices slid on Monday as investors took profits from recent gainers, including semiconductor-related shares, following the market’s rapid ascent to a three-decade high earlier this month.

The Nikkei average dropped 0.97 per cent to end at 28,242.21, slipping further from its 30-year peak of 28,979 touched last week. It is still up 2.90 per cent so far this month.

The broader Topix lost 0.60 per cent to 1,845.49.

“The market’s rally over the last month has been so fast that many people are feeling that there’s a bit of over-heating here,” said Takeo Kamai, head of execution services at CLSA.

Investors booked profits on shares that rallied on hopes of big stimulus spending by the incoming Biden Administration in the United States.

Apart from profit-taking, semi-conductor shares were also under pressure after a Reuters report that the Trump administration notified Huawei suppliers, including chipmaker Intel, of revoking certain licences to sell to the Chinese company and intended to reject dozens of other applications to supply the telecommunications firm.

Tokyo Electron fell 1.6 per cent while Advantest lost 1.9 per cent.

Camera maker Nikon dropped 6.8 per cent after having rallied more than 20 per cent earlier this month.

Department store operators also slumped on fears about longer social-distancing restrictions as the country struggled to stem the spread of COVID-19.

Isetan Mitsukoshi Holdings lost 6.6 per cent and J. Front Retailing fell 5.6 per cent.

Nidec bucked the overall trend to gain 4.6 per cent as investors bet on its strength in motors for electric vehicles.

The index of Mothers start-up shares rose 1.56 per cent,

The market showed a muted response to a raft of Chinese economic data.

Trade was also slow due to a U.S. market holiday, with turnover missing the two trillion yen mark for the first time in two weeks.

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