Nikkei falls on weak U.S. data; Yakult tumbles on Danone stake sale report

miércoles 26 de noviembre de 2014 22:16 GYT

* Yakult dives 10 pct to 4-week low on Danone stake sale
    * Nikkei's support seen at 16,500 even hit by correction -
    * Investors stay on the sidelines before U.S. Thanksgiving

    By Ayai Tomisawa
    TOKYO, Nov 27 (Reuters) - Japanese stocks edged down on
Thursday morning, as exporters were hit by the yen's rise
against the dollar thanks to weak U.S. data, while many
investors stayed on the sidelines before a U.S. holiday.
    Yakult Honsha Co was one of the big losers of the
day, diving 10 percent to a four-week low of 6,010 yen after
Bloomberg reported that France's Danone SA is weighing
a sale of its 20 percent stake in the company. 
    The Nikkei fell 0.4 percent to 17,321.60 in
midmorning trade after dropping 0.1 percent the previous day.
    U.S. markets will be closed on Thursday for Thanksgiving,
with many U.S. traders expected to take a long weekend.
    "Investors are taking profits from the recent rises, but at
the same time, there is confidence in the market that it should
be supported," as some investors wait for an opportunity to buy
more cheaply, said Hiromitsu Kamata, head of Japanese equity
target department at Amundi Japan.
    He said that the Nikkei should be supported above 16,500
even if a short-term correction hits the market.
    The Nikkei has gained on the back of the Bank of Japan's
surprise Oct. 31 easing, the Government Pension Investment
Fund's decision to increase its allocation to Japanese stocks
and China's interest-rate cut last week.
    The Nikkei has risen 20 percent since Oct. 31.
    Exporters languished as the dollar was down 0.1 percent at
117.63 yen, retreating from a seven-year high of 118.98 
a week ago after a batch of disappointing U.S. data on
consumers, housing and manufacturing raised concern about the
U.S. economy 
    Nissan Motor Co shed 1.2 percent, Fuji Heavy
Industries dropped 2.6 percent and Sony Corp 
declined 1.2 percent.
    The broader Topix dropped 0.5 percent to 1,399.50,
and the new JPX-Nikkei Index 400 fell 0.5 percent to

 (Editing by Richard Borsuk)