Nikkei ekes out slim gain to log 8th straight day of rises

Fri Dec 27, 2013 1:13am EST

TOKYO, Dec 27 (Reuters) - Japan's Nikkei stock average eked
out a slight gain on Friday, logging its highest close in six
years, although Takeda Pharmaceutical Co Ltd took a
beating after it ended development of a treatment for diabetes.
    The Nikkei ended 4.5 points higher at 16,178.94 in
its eight straight day of gains, its longest such streak since
March. 
    Takeda suffered its worst one-day decline in seven months,
down 5.2 percent after the drugmaker said it had decided
voluntarily to end development activities for fasiglifam, an
investigational treatment for type two diabetes, due to concerns
over liver safety. 
    The broader Topix index gained 0.8 percent to
1,290.07, with 2.65 billion shares changing hands, slightly
behind a four-day high of 2.66 billion shares set on Thursday.
    Buoyed by Japan's aggressive fiscal and monetary stimulus,
the benchmark Nikkei has rallied 55.6 percent, heading for its
best annual performance since 1972.