(Adding full attribution of the analyst in the 6th paragraph)
* Foreigners avoid holding positions before holidays - traders
* Sharp soars on hopes its lenders may forgive loans
By Ayai Tomisawa
TOKYO, Nov 25 (Reuters) - Japan’s Nikkei share average fell on Wednesday morning, breaking a five-day winning streak as geopolitical tensions triggered profit-taking and a stronger yen hit sentiment, dragging down exporters and financials.
Global investors did not want to hold positions before the Thanksgiving holidays, traders said, noting that heightened geopolitical tensions dominated the mood after Turkey downed a Russian warplane.
Turkey shot down the aircraft near the Syrian border on Tuesday, saying the Russian fighter jet had violated its air space, in one of the most serious publicly acknowledged clashes between a NATO member country and Russia for half a century.
The Nikkei dropped 0.5 percent to 19,822.71 in midmorning trade, after rising for five straight days.
Traders say that Japanese stocks suffered limited direct impact from such global events as the Paris attacks early this month and the Russia-Turkey tensions, but since the majority of participants in the Japanese equities market are foreign investors, Japanese stocks are prone to their risk-averse sentiment.
“An individual impact on the market from those events like the Paris attacks and heightened security in Brussels may be small, but there is also uncertainty that’s worrying investors,” said Masaru Hamasaki, head of market & investment information department at Amundi Japan.
He added that investment risks such as heavy security precautions could spread to other big cities - sapping risk appetite and potentially affecting their economies.
“The stock market does not like uncertainty,” Hamasaki said.
Exporters were sold after the dollar dipped to a 1-1/2 week low of 122.31 overnight.
Honda Motor Co dropped 1.1 percent, Mazda Motor Corp declined 1.5 percent and Panasonic Corp shed 1.3 percent.
Financials lost ground, with Mitsubishi UFJ Financial Group falling 1.9 percent, SMFG shedding 1.8 percent and Nomura Holdings dropping 2.5 percent.
Sharp Corp bucked this weakness, jumping 8 percent over three straight days after people familiar with the matter said a Japanese state-backed fund had asked Sharp’s main lenders to forgive some of the screen maker’s debt in return for investment.
The broader Topix dropped 0.8 percent to 1,593.81 and the JPX-Nikkei Index 400 declined 0.8 percent to 14,368.43. (Reporting by Ayai Tomisawa; Editing by Eric Meijer)