Nikkei falls, set to end 4-day winning run on U.S. fiscal woes

Tue Nov 27, 2012 8:23pm EST

* Nikkei and Topix both slip 0.3 pct
    * Nikkei has rallied nearly 9 pct over past two weeks
    * DeNA gains after Morgan Stanley MUFG raises price target

    By Dominic Lau
    TOKYO, Nov 28 (Reuters) - Japan's Nikkei average slipped on
Wednesday, on track to end a four-day winning streak, on
concerns that an apparent lack of progress in the fiscal policy
standoff in the United States could trigger a recession.
    The Nikkei has rallied more than 8 percent over the past two
weeks, as the yen has weakened sharply on expectations that
Japan's main opposition leader, Shinzo Abe, will win a Dec. 16
election and increase pressure on the central bank to take
aggressive action to reverse the country's persistent deflation.
    But shares of exporters, the main beneficiaries of the
weaker yen, have started to succumb to profit-taking.
    "The Abe trade is probably over," a dealer at a foreign bank
said. "The yen was triggering a lot of buying. People shifted
out of domestic into FX-sensitive names. That trade is almost
over as the FX is stalling at around 82 (yen to the dollar)."
    The Nikkei eased 0.3 percent to 9,399.87 after
hitting a seven-month closing high on Tuesday.
    It is up 11.2 percent this year, matching a similar
performance as the U.S. S&P 500 but slightly below a 11.6
percent gain in the pan-European STOXX Europe 600 
index.
    Comments by U.S. Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid on
Tuesday over the lack of progress among Democratic and
Republican lawmakers to reach a deal to avoid a year-end 'fiscal
cliff' helped trigger profit-taking on the Nikkei.
 
    Exporters losing ground included Canon Inc, Sony
Corp, chip measuring instruments maker Advantest Corp
 and TDK Corp, down between 0.6 and 1.8
percent. 
    Shinzo Abe has proposed that the Bank of Japan take more
extreme monetary easing steps, weakening the yen to a
7-1/2-month low of 82.84 against the greenback on Nov. 22. The
Japanese currency was quoted at 82.15 yen to the dollar on
Wednesday.
    Notable gainers included social gaming company DeNA Co Ltd
, a widely held stock, which climbed 1 percent after
Morgan Stanley MUFG lifted the stock's price target, citing
strong overseas growth potential.  
    The broader Topix fell 0.3 percent to 779.17.
    In terms of valuations, Japanese stocks carry a 12-month
forward price-to-earnings of 11.3, cheaper than the S&P 500's
12.1 but slightly more expensive than the STOXX Europe 600's 11,
data from Thomson Reuters Datastream showed.
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