February 2, 2018 / 2:33 AM / 9 months ago

Nikkei falls, bank shares weak after BOJ's operation

TOKYO, Feb 2 (Reuters) - Japan’s Nikkei share average fell on Friday morning led by weakness in most sectors, with banking stocks down on worries domestic yields would be kept low after the central bank conducted a special bond purchase operation.

The Nikkei dropped 1.3 percent to 23,188.25 in midmorning trade. For the week, it has dropped 1.9 percent.

The broader Topix shed 0.9 percent to 1,853.89, with 32 of its 33 sectors falling.

The Bank of Japan on Friday conducted a special bond purchase operation to stem the rise in Japanese bond yields, offering to buy an unlimited amount of JGBs with more than five to ten years left to maturity.

Bank shares, which rose the previous day after some banks posted brisk earnings results, lost ground. Mitsubishi UFJ Financial Group shed 1.8 percent, Sumitomo Mitsui Financial Group fell 1.4 percent and Mizuho Financial Group declined 1.2 percent.

Bucking the weakness, Kobe Steel jumped more than 9 percent after it reinstated its annual profit forecast. (Editing by Sam Holmes)

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