SYDNEY, May 15 (Reuters) - Tokyo shares dropped for a fourth straight session on Friday on concerns about worsening U.S.-China relations and as investors booked profits ahead of data expected to show that Japan’s economy shrank for a second straight quarter.
The benchmark Nikkei average dipped 0.3% to 19,854.03 by the midday break, with real estate and other defensive sectors leading the losses.
For the week, the Nikkei was down 1.6%, poised for its first weekly decline in three.
U.S. President Donald Trump on Thursday said he was very disappointed with China’s failure to contain the coronavirus disease and that the pandemic had cast a pall over his January trade deal with Beijing. Trump suggested he could even cut ties with China.
E-Mini futures for the S&P 500, which were last quoted down 0.4% in Asian trade, further pressured Tokyo shares.
The broader Topix fell 0.3% to 1,441.96 by the recess, with two-thirds of the 33 sector sub-indexes on the Tokyo exchange trading lower.
Defensive real estate, fish and forest and foods were the three worst-performing sector subindexes on the main bourse.
Mitsubishi Estate Co Ltd tumbled 8.8% after the company cut its full-year dividend outlook and forecast a 25.9% fall in net profit for this business year to March 2021.
Traders said some profit-taking also weighed on the market before the release of Japan’s gross domestic product (GDP) data for the January-March quarter, due on Monday.
Japan’s economy likely shrank for a second straight quarter in the first three months of this year, a Reuters poll showed, meeting the technical definition of recession as the pandemic wiped out consumption and business activity.
Bucking the overall weakness, semiconductor-related companies were in demand following a 2.8% gain overnight in the U.S. Philadelphia semiconductor index.
Chipmaking gear manufacturer Tokyo Electron Ltd rose 1.2% and test device maker Advantest Corp climbed 1.4%. (Reporting by Tomo Uetake; Editing by Devika Syamnath)