TOKYO, April 25 (Reuters) - Japanese stocks fell on Monday as investors cashed in profits from a four-day rally that last week lifted the benchmark Nikkei index to an 11-1/2-week high amid rising expectations of further central bank easing.
The Nikkei share average closed 0.8 percent lower at 17,439.30. Japan’s benchmark index added more than four percent in the previous week.
Market players said investors continued to look ahead to key corporate earnings news and central bank policy meetings due to be held later this week in the United States and Japan.
Exporters outperformed after the yen hit a three-week low on Monday amid firmer expectations that the Bank of Japan could start lending to banks at negative rates.
Home appliance and electronics exporter Panasonic Corp climbed 0.8 percent while a host of automakers that rely on export sales for profits also ended the day higher.
Toyota Motor Corp rose 1.2 percent while Mazda Motor Corp climbed 2 percent and Honda Motor Co Ltd ended the day 0.9 percent higher.
Shares of Sony Corp plunged 6 percent after the electronics giant said it would delay announcing its earnings forecasts for the 2016 fiscal year in order to assess the impact of damage from recent earthquakes on its profits.
Duty-free store operator Laox Co Ltd climbed 2.5 percent amid the weaker yen, which burnished hopes of reaping better profits from Japan’s rising number of foreign visitors.
The broader Topix declined 0.4 percent to end the day at 1,401.83 with all but seven of its 33 subindexes in negative territory.
The JPX-Nikkei Index 400 fell 0.4 percent to 12,703.41. (Reporting by Joshua Hunt; Editing by Gopakumar Warrier)