Nikkei slips as U.S. air strikes stoke geopolitical concerns
* Investors take profits in recent gainers * Market supported ahead of dividend record date * Softbank extends fall after Alibaba's listing * Line-related shares sink as IPO put off By Hideyuki Sano TOKYO, Sept 24 (Reuters) - Japanese shares stepped back on Wednesday, after U.S. air strikes in Syria dampened risk sentiment and curbed the yen's fall - the main driver of the market's rally in the past several weeks. Returning from a market holiday on Tuesday, the Nikkei average fell 0.1 percent to 16,192.02, slipping further from a seven-year peak of 16,205.90 hit on last Friday. "If geopolitical concerns deepen, you can't expect Japanese markets alone to survive. The market could fall up to 10-15 percent at most," said Akiko Miyazaki, director of stocks at Barclays. Wall Street shares suffered broad losses on Tuesday as U.S. President Barack Obama vowed to continue the fight against Islamic State militants following the first U.S.-led air strikes targeting the group in Syria. Still, the damage in Tokyo so far has been limited, compared to the 1.4 percent fall in the S&P500 index in the past two sessions, partly because of buying ahead of Thursday, which is half-year dividend record date for many Japanese shares. Investors took profits from recent gainers such as insurers , seen as benefitting from higher bond yields, and transport equipment makers, whose profits rise on a weaker yen. Insurers fell 1.3 percent, with Tokio Marine falling 1.2 percent. Among carmakers, Nissan motor Co fell 1.0 percent while Honda Motor Co dropped 0.8 percent. The yen rebounded to around 108.67 yen to the dollar, off a six-year low of 109.46 yen hit on Friday. Softbank, the largest shareholder of Chinese e-commerce giant Alibaba, extended losses as Alibaba's listing in the New York Stock Exchange on Friday triggered profit-taking. Shares of companies with business on the messaging app Line suffered after South Korea-based Naver said on Monday that it does not plan an initial public offering for Line IPO-LINE.T this year, dashing market expectations for a deal that one banking source has said could value the Japan-based firm at $10 billion-$20 billion. Adways fell 8.7 percent while Media Do. The broader Topix fell 0.3 percent while the new JPX-Nikkei Index 400 dipped 0.2 percent. (Editing by Shri Navaratnam)
© Thomson Reuters 2016 All rights reserved.