June 8, 2018 / 3:11 AM / 2 months ago

Nikkei drops for the first time in 5 days; market awaits Fed, ECB

TOKYO, June 8 (Reuters) - Japan’s Nikkei share average snapped a four-day winning streak in choppy trade on Friday morning, with many investors on the sidelines as they await major economic events.

Large-cap stocks such as SoftBank and Fanuc underperformed.

The Nikkei dropped 0.2 percent to 22,785.23 in midmorning trade, just above an estimated settlement price of June Nikkei futures and options contracts at 22,825.20.

Still, the Nikkei has gained 2.8 percent on a weekly basis, the biggest weekly gain in 11 weeks.

“There are major events to focus on now. The market is waiting for the Fed and ECB meetings to price in the results,” said Takuya Takahashi, a strategist at Daiwa Securities. “There are still risks that the outcomes may not be something the market is expecting, but considering how much the Nikkei has regained momentum this week, it seems the market is fairly optimistic.”

The Nikkei hit highs not seen in more than two weeks on Thursday.

The U.S. Federal Reserve is widely expected to announce an interest rate hike on Wednesday, while the European Central Bank will debate next week whether to end bond purchases later this year.

Investors were cautious as U.S. President Donald Trump stuck to his tough stance against top allies ahead of the summit on Friday and Saturday in Charlevoix, Quebec, after imposing tariffs on steel and aluminium imports from Canada, Mexico and the European Union.

Large-cap stocks languished, with SoftBank falling 2.0 percent, Fanuc Corp shedding 1.0 percent and Tokyo Electron tumbling 2.4 percent.

Defensive stocks such as railways and utilities outperformed. East Japan Railway Co rose 0.6 percent and Tokyo Gas advanced 1.5 percent.

Kikkoman Corp jumped 2.3 percent after a media report that honorary CEO Yuzaburo Mogi said it plans to establish sales companies to sell soy sauce in South America and India.

The broader Topix was flat at 1,788.98. (Reporting by Ayai Tomisawa Editing by Eric Meijer)

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