January 12, 2017 / 2:27 AM / in a year

Nikkei falls to near 2-week low after Trump's speech disappoints

* Drugmakers underperform as sentiment soured by Trump’s remarks

* Nikkei has gained 18 pct since Nov. 9

* 29 of 33 Topix’s subsectors in negative territory

By Ayai Tomisawa

TOKYO, Jan 12 (Reuters) - Japan’s Nikkei share average dropped to a near two-week low on Thursday morning after President-elect Donald Trump failed to provide clarity on future fiscal policies in a highly-awaited press briefing.

The pharmaceutical sector was heavily battered, falling 2.4 percent and was the worst performer on the board after Trump said pharmaceutical companies are “getting away with murder” in the prices that they charge the government for medicines, and promised that would change.

Astellas Pharma tumbled 3.9 percent, Takeda Pharmaceutical shed 2.8 percent and Eisai Co declined 2.3 percent.

The Nikkei fell 1.3 percent to 19,120.70 in midmorning trade, after hitting as low as 19,095.39 earlier, the lowest level since Dec. 30.

“He failed to deliver what the market has wanted to hear for all these weeks,” said Hikaru Sato, a senior technical analyst at Daiwa Securities. “Such disappointment has triggered profit-taking.”

Trump’s news conference since the Nov. 8 election contained no details on tax cuts and infrastructure spending, two factors that had fuelled the five-week rally in stocks and a selloff in global bond markets.

The Nikkei has gained 18 percent since Trump’s election.

The dollar sank to as low as 114.245 yen on Wednesday, its lowest level since Nov. 9 and last stood at 114.99, down 0.4 percent on the day. A strong yen environment hurt sentiment in the overall market.

Twenty nine of Topix’s 33 subsectors were in negative territory.

Thursday’s other losers include retailers and construction stocks.

Department store operators Isetan Mitsukoshi Holdings and Takashimaya Co dropped 2.0 percent and 1.4 percent, respectively.

Contractors Kajima Corp fell 1.1 percent and Taisei Corp dropped 1.9 percent.

The broader Topix dropped 0.7 percent to 1,539.84 and the JPX-Nikkei Index 400 declined 0.8 percent to 13,780.46.

Editing by Simon Cameron-Moore

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