Nikkei steps back after 4-day winning streak; Sony jumps

Thu Aug 14, 2014 10:20pm EDT

* Japan market should stay resilient on GPIF hopes - traders
    * Sony up on report it plans to enter automotive image
sensor market
    * Nikkei up more than 3 pct for the week

    By Ayai Tomisawa
    TOKYO, Aug 15 (Reuters) - Japanese stocks snapped a four-day
winning streak on Friday morning, as investors took a breather
ahead of the weekend though Sony Corp rose on a report
that it will enter the automotive image sensor market.
    The Nikkei dropped 0.2 percent to 15,289.76 in
midmorning trade after rising for four consecutive days on
easing tensions in Ukraine and anticipation that Japanese public
pension funds will buy domestic shares.
    For the week, the index has gained more than 3 percent.
    Analysts said that the Japanese market is likely to stay
resilient given its underperformance this year compared to other
major markets.
    "When you think globally, the Japanese market falls behind
its peers," said Hiromitsu Kamata, head of Japanese equity
target department at Amundi Japan.
    The Nikkei has dropped 6 percent since the beginning of the
year, lagging the S&P 500's 5.8 percent rise and a flat
performance from the pan-European FTSEurofirst 300 index
.
    A positive for Japanese stocks is the prospect of increased
buying from the $1.2 trillion Government Pension Investment
Fund, Amundi's Kamata said. The fund is expected to announce
more allocations to domestic stocks later this year.
    Exporters were mixed on the day, with Toyota Motor Corp
 falling 0.4 percent, Panasonic Corp tacking on
 0.1 percent and Tokyo Electron Ltd gaining 1.4
percent.
    Sony jumped 1.8 percent after the Nikkei business daily
reported that it plans to offer image sensors for automotive
cameras, aiming to tap a new growth market amid the drive toward
smart cars and driverless vehicles. 
    The broader Topix shed 0.1 percent to 1,268.88, and
the new JPX-Nikkei Index 400 declined 0.2 percent to
11,550.28.

 (Editing by Shri Navaratnam)