Nikkei steps back from 5-month high ahead of Abe's growth strategy

lunes 23 de junio de 2014 22:21 GYT

* 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
    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)