Nikkei sags on profit-taking after rally to near 5-year high

Thu Apr 11, 2013 9:42pm EDT

* Fast Retailing falls on weaker-than-expected forecast
    * Chiyoda Corp tumbles after Woodside shelves LNG project

    By Ayai Tomisawa
    TOKYO, April 12 (Reuters) - Japan's Nikkei share average
slipped on Friday after a recent run of gains to an almost
five-year high triggered profit-taking, but the market was
underpinned by optimism that bold government and central bank
policies would revitalise the economy.
    The Nikkei has gained nearly 10 percent since the Bank Of
Japan stunned markets a week ago with a plan to inject $1.4
trillion into the Japanese economy over two years to beat
deflation.
    "Unless there are strong catalysts to drive the market
higher such as the yen weakening further to 100 yen against the
dollar, profit-taking is natural given the steep rises," said
Yutaka Miura, a senior technical analyst at Mizuho Securities.
    The Nikkei was down 0.5 percent at 13,480.56 in
midmorning trade. It opened up 0.1 percent at 13,568.25, its
highest level since July 2008, before turning negative.    
    The broader Topix shed 0.1 percent to 1,146.52.    
    The dollar last traded around 99.54 yen on Friday,
compared with the session high of 99.95 hit on Thursday, its
highest level since April 2009.
    Index heavyweight Fast Retailing was down 1 percent
after falling as much as 5.5 percent. The Uniqlo operator on
Thursday left its full-year operating profit forecast unchanged
at 147.5 billion yen ($1.5 billion), slightly lower than
analysts' expectations for 149.9 billion yen.
    Chiyoda Corp tumbled 11.2 percent and was the
second-biggest percentage loser after Woodside Petroleum
 shelved plans for the $40 billion Browse liquefied
natural gas project in Western Australia, in which the Japanese
company was involved.
    Auto parts maker Takata Corp sank as much as 6.7
percent to 1,698 yen and hit a five-week low, extending
Thursday's 9 percent slide after four Japanese automakers said
they were recalling a total of 3.4 million vehicles because
airbags supplied by the company are at risk of catching fire or
injuring passengers. Nomura cut its rating on Takata to
"neutral" from "buy".
    Financials, which have risen strongly on hopes for reflation
in Japan, fell on profit-taking. Nomura Holdings 
dropped 0.5 percent and Mitsubishi UFJ Financial Group 
shed 0.9 percent.
    Since November, the Nikkei has surged more than 50 percent
on expectations that aggressive monetary and fiscal policies
will jolt the economy from almost two decades of deflation.