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