Nikkei steps back from 5-month high ahead of Abe's growth strategy
* Investors take profits amid short-term over-bought signals * Few surprises expected in Abe's growth policies * Focus on corporate tax cuts and pension asset review * Mitsui Fudosan falls as new shares come into market By Hideyuki Sano TOKYO, June 24 (Reuters) - Japan's Nikkei share average stepped back from a 5-month high on Tuesday, as the focus in domestic markets turned to Prime Minister Shinzo Abe's release later in the day of his much-anticipated policy initiatives to boost growth. The Nikkei fell 0.6 percent to 15,271.20, slipping from Monday's five-month high with investors taking the opportunity to book profits after the benchmark rallied almost 10 percent in just over a month. "There is a bit of profit-taking after sharp gains and also ahead of growth strategy. Some people may think there will be buy-on-rumour-sell-on-fact type of trading," said Norihiro Fujito, senior investment strategist at Mitsubishi UFJ Morgan Stanley Securities. Abe will detail his so-called "Third Arrow" policies later on Tuesday, including phased corporate tax cuts, public pension reforms and various deregulations including those on dance halls. Given many have already been leaked or announced by officials, most investors expect limited reaction to the announcement, though some were cautious as a similar proposal last year was poorly received by markets. Disappointment over lack of details in Abe's reform agenda was seen as one of the factors behind the Nikkei's 22-percent fall from late May to mid-June last year. "Last year people bought shares on hopes and the market fell subsequently. This year there isn't much hope so there shouldn't be much downside for markets either," said Tetsuro Ii, the president of Commons Asset Management. "In fact, some investors, including foreign investors, are starting to realise that Japan is slowly changing after all." Mitsui Fudosan fell 3.6 percent in heavy trade as its newly-issued shares started trading, but they were still about eight percent above the offer price. The dragged down the entire real estate sector 1.4 percent, making them the second worst-performing sector after the volatile mining companies. Transport equipment makers fell 1.3 percent, led by Nissan Motor Co and Honda Motor, which fell 2.4 percent and 2.1 percent respectively. Bucking the trend, Suntory Beverage rose 1.6 percent after its parent company Suntory Holdings tapped Takeshi Niinami, the chairman of convenience store operator Lawson Inc , as its new president, choosing its leader from outside the founding family for the first time. Overall, technical signs indicating an overbought position also encouraged investors to sell down some of the shares. One such measure was the up-down ratio, a gauge closely watched by Japanese players. The rate of the number of shares that advanced over the past 25 sessions divided by that of declining shares have risen above 150 percent, well above the 120 mark that is considered to signal an overbought territory. The broader Topix fell 0.7 percent while the new JPX-Nikkei Index 400 also dropped 0.7 percent. (Editing by Shri Navaratnam)
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