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Topix retreats from 5-month high as JR West, other transport stocks slump

Topix retreats from 5-month high as JR West, other transport stocks slump

reuters.com · 09/01/2021 23:51
Topix retreats from 5-month high as JR West, other transport stocks slump

- Japanese shares pulled back from session highs on Thursday, with the broader Topix reversing course after hitting a five-month peak, as West Japan Railway fell by a record and dragged down other rail and transport stocks.

The Topix .TOPX slipped 0.21% to 1,976.70 by the midday break after scaling a five-month high of 1,987.45 in opening trade.

West Japan Railway (JR West) 9021.T plunged 15.17%, close to the daily limit, after saying it would sell new shares. nT9N2PX00E

The land transport sub-sector .IRAIL.T was the worst performer on the Topix with a drop of 3.82%, while air transport .IAIRL.T fell 1.53%.

The Nikkei share average .N225 was up 0.09% at 28,476.01. Earlier in the day, it touched a one-and-a-half month high of 28,626.20 before briefly dipping into negative territory.

Apart from local factors, the U.S. non-farm payrolls data that is considered crucial to the Federal Reserve's tapering plan spurred caution among investors.

"Market conditions have improved from a technical perspective, but the recent rally was so fast that some investors will want to take profits," said a market participant with a domestic securities company.

"Buyers are gradually disappearing, with investors waiting to see the U.S. payrolls number into the weekend."

The Nikkei was supported by heavyweights like chipmakers Advantest 6857.T and Tokyo Electron 8035.T - up 2.18% and 1.28%, respectively - and telecom firms including KDDI 9433.T, which rose 1.0%.

Other tech stocks also gained, with Sony Group 6758.T up 0.87% and Nintendo climbing 1.64%. Mobile game maker Nexon 3659.T was the Nikkei's top performer, rallying 3.36%.

But declines across transport sectors were heavy, with the Nikkei's four worst performing stocks all railways. JR East 9020.T slumped 7.14%, JR Central 9022.T lost 4.33% and Tokyu Corp 9005.T slid 4.25%.

Airlines ANA Holdings 9202.T and Japan Airlines 9201.T fell 1.99% and 0.96%, respectively.

Automakers also declined, with Nissan 7201.T slumping 2.85%, Honda 7267.T declining 0.98% and Toyota 7203.T slipping 0.44%.

(Reporting by Tokyo markets team; Editing by Subhranshu Sahu)