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