TOKYO, Aug 26 (Reuters) - Japanese shares inched lower on Wednesday as investors chose to book profit after the Nikkei briefly recovered to pre-pandemic levels in the previous session.
The benchmark Nikkei share average eased 0.17% to 23,257.17 by the midday break, after closing 1.35% firmer on Tuesday. It hit its highest level since Feb. 21 in the last session as COVID-19 treatment hopes bolstered market sentiment.
The broader Topix lost 0.35% to 1,619.54.
All but seven of the 33 sector sub-indexes on the Tokyo Stock Exchange were trading lower, with airlines, real estate and nonferrous metals leading the decline.
Limiting losses for the Nikkei index, heavyweight SoftBank Group rose 2.34% after recent correction.
While the main focus is on Federal Reserve Chair Jerome Powell’s speech on Thursday for the U.S. central bank’s view on inflation and monetary policy, some investors are also waiting for details on Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe’s health.
Abe plans to hold a press conference as early as this week about his health after recent visits to a hospital, local media reported.
Fast-food restaurant group Colowide Co lost 0.19% as the company extended its hostile bid for casual dining chain Ootoya Holdings after failing to secure enough shares by the deadline. Ootoya shares jumped 10.44%.
Recruitment advertiser Recruit Holdings Co fell 2% ahead of its results after market hours. (Reporting by Eimi Yamamitsu; Editing by Subhranshu Sahu)
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