Japanese shares slide after sharp gains, Powell's testimony in focus

TOKYO, July 14 (Reuters) - Japanese shares fell after two straight sessions of gains on Wednesday, with investors awaiting Federal Reserve Chair Jerome Powell’s congressional testimony.

The Nikkei share average slid 0.26% to 28,641.62 by 0212 GMT, while the broader Topix inched down 0.05% to 1,966.75. For the week so far, the Nikkei is already up 2.5% and the Topix almost 2.9%.

“Investors are locking in their profits after sharp gains in the market. But, until we see market indicators from corporate earnings reports, the market will be quiet,” said Shoichi Arisawa, general manager of the investment research department at IwaiCosmo Securities.

“The market is also moving in a tight as investors await Powell’s testimony, which will take place after U.S. consumer prices rose sharply.”

U.S. consumer prices rose by the most in 13 years last month, while so-called core consumer prices surged 4.5% year over year, the largest rise since November 1991.

Powell’s testimony on Wednesday and Thursday is in focus for his comments about rising price pressures and monetary support going forward.

In Japan, tire makers led the declines, with Yokohama Rubber losing 3.67% and Bridgestone falling 3.21%. Airlines also fell 2.57%, with ANA Holdings and Japan Airlines losing 2.4% and 2.71%, respectively.

Yaskawa Electric fell 2.11%, retreating from a 3.14% gain this week after the robot maker raised its annual profit outlook.

Toho surged 10.65% after the film and entertainment company said its operating profit almost quadrupled in the latest quarter.

The volume of shares traded on the Tokyo Stock Exchange’s main board was 0.42 billion, compared with the average of 1.03 billion in the past 30 days.

There were 85 advancers on the Nikkei index against 131 decliners (Reporting by Junko Fujita; editing by Uttaresh.V)