Nikkei steady as investors pause after rally; automakers, insurers down

domingo 12 de abril de 2015 23:04 GYT

* Large cap stocks prone to profit-taking - traders
    * Japan machinery data and China trade have little impact

    By Ayai Tomisawa
    TOKYO, April 13 (Reuters) - Japan's Nikkei share average was
steady in a choppy Monday morning session, with some investors
pocketing gains in major stocks such as  Toyota Motor Corp
 after the index touched the key 20,000 level last week.
    The Nikkei edged down 0.1 percent to 19,882.42 at
the midday break after shifting in and out of positive
territory, while the broader Topix underperformed,
falling 0.4 percent to 1,583.57.
    The Nikkei index traded above 20,000 for the first time
since April 2000 on Friday, and has risen 2.4 percent in the
past week, but the push was short-lived as investors were quick
to cash in on recent gains.
    "Investors took a breather and calmed down on the weekend
after the index hit the psychological resistance line," said
Takatoshi Itoshima, chief portfolio manager at Commons Asset
    Toyota, which hit a record high last month, fell 1.2
percent. Other automakers were also weaker, with Nissan Motor Co
, which rose to its highest since November 2007 last
month, shedding 2.4 percent.
     Other recent gainers including insurance stocks also lost
ground. Tokio Marine Holdings dropped 1.3 percent and
Sompo Japan Nipponkoa Holdings shed 1.9 percent.
    Analysts said that investors may stay on the sidelines ahead
 of the peak of U.S. corporate earnings season for the first
    While some companies reported last week, this week will see
results from a number of major firms, including several banks
and multi-national firms. 
    "Some companies like Intel Corp have already warned the
market by cutting forecasts, so it will be a matter of how much
of the weak earnings is priced into the market," said Norihiro
Fujito, senior investment strategist at Mitsubishi UFJ Morgan
Stanley Securities.
     Japan's better-than-expected core machinery orders released
on Monday morning, a key gauge of capital spending, didn't have
much sway in the market. 
     China's exports, which contracted 15 percent in March from
a year earlier in a surprise drop, also had little impact on
    The JPX-Nikkei Index 400 dropped 0.5 percent to

 (Editing by Shri Navaratnam)