Nikkei steps back after 4-day winning streak; Sony jumps
* Japan market should stay resilient on GPIF hopes - traders * Sony up on report it plans to enter automotive image sensor market * Nikkei up more than 3 pct for the week By Ayai Tomisawa TOKYO, Aug 15 (Reuters) - Japanese stocks snapped a four-day winning streak on Friday morning, as investors took a breather ahead of the weekend though Sony Corp rose on a report that it will enter the automotive image sensor market. The Nikkei dropped 0.2 percent to 15,289.76 in midmorning trade after rising for four consecutive days on easing tensions in Ukraine and anticipation that Japanese public pension funds will buy domestic shares. For the week, the index has gained more than 3 percent. Analysts said that the Japanese market is likely to stay resilient given its underperformance this year compared to other major markets. "When you think globally, the Japanese market falls behind its peers," said Hiromitsu Kamata, head of Japanese equity target department at Amundi Japan. The Nikkei has dropped 6 percent since the beginning of the year, lagging the S&P 500's 5.8 percent rise and a flat performance from the pan-European FTSEurofirst 300 index . A positive for Japanese stocks is the prospect of increased buying from the $1.2 trillion Government Pension Investment Fund, Amundi's Kamata said. The fund is expected to announce more allocations to domestic stocks later this year. Exporters were mixed on the day, with Toyota Motor Corp falling 0.4 percent, Panasonic Corp tacking on 0.1 percent and Tokyo Electron Ltd gaining 1.4 percent. Sony jumped 1.8 percent after the Nikkei business daily reported that it plans to offer image sensors for automotive cameras, aiming to tap a new growth market amid the drive toward smart cars and driverless vehicles. The broader Topix shed 0.1 percent to 1,268.88, and the new JPX-Nikkei Index 400 declined 0.2 percent to 11,550.28. (Editing by Shri Navaratnam)
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