Nikkei snaps 5-day winning streak; Market awaits BOJ outcome

jueves 21 de mayo de 2015 22:03 GYT
 

* For the week, Nikkei has gained 2.3 pct
    * Seibu tumbles after Cerberus launched selldown
    * Skylark dives after news Bain Capital to sell stake
    * Generic drugmakers up on report govt pushes for generic
drug use

    By Ayai Tomisawa
    TOKYO, May 22 (Reuters) - Japan's Nikkei share average edged
down on Friday morning, snapping a five-day winning streak as
investors carefully await for the outcome of the Bank Of Japan's
two-day policy meeting.
    The Bank of Japan is set to maintain its massive monetary
stimulus on Friday and may offer a slightly more upbeat view of
the economy. 
    The Nikkei 225 fell 0.1 percent to 20,180.89 in
mid-morning trade. The index rose 3.2 percent, or 632 points
over the past five sessions.
    For the week, it has gained 2.3 percent.
    Analysts said that profit-taking may kick in - given the
recent rises in the Japanese market - if the BOJ does not 
surprise investors, as expected.
    "There are few domestic catalysts now and surprises enough
to move the market, so investors will keep looking to
developments in the timing of a U.S. rate hike which is a big
matter to the Japanese market," said Masaru Hamasaki, head of
market & investment information department at Amundi Japan.
    U.S. stocks have been rising on the back of expectations
that an interest rate hike is likely to come only later in the
year.
    "If such expectations are turned around on strong economic
data or something, the Japanese market may become a target to
sell, too," Hamasaki said.
    Seibu Holdings tumbled 13 percent to more than a
three-month low after U.S. private equity firm Cerberus Capital
Management LP launched a selldown of up to $878 million in
Seibu. 
    Restaurant chain Skylark Co dived 11 percent to a
one-month low on news that U.S. private equity firm Bain Capital
will cut its 70 percent stake in the company to less than 50
percent. 
    Exporters were sold, with Toyota Motor Corp falling
0.8 percent, Honda Motor Co shedding 1.0 percent and
Canon Inc dropping 2.2 percent.
    Outperforming the lacklustre market were generic drug makers
after the Nikkei business daily reported that the Japanese
government is pushing for more use of generic drugs instead of
pricier branded versions.
    Sawai Pharmaceutical Co jumped 3.7 percent and Towa
Pharmaceutical Co  soared 5.7 percent.
    The broader Topix dropped 0.3 percent to 1,641.43
and the JPX-Nikkei Index 400 shed 0.3 percent to
14,850.60.

 (Editing by Eric Meijer)