SYDNEY, May 1 (Reuters) - Japanese shares retreated from a near eight-week peak on Friday, led by declines in chipmaking firms and as investors chose to re-shuffle the deck following a streak of earnings reports.
The benchmark Nikkei average fell 2.8% to 19,619.35 points, erasing Thursday’s 2.6% gain, with overnight Wall Street losses and weaker U.S. stock futures weighing. E-Mini futures for the S&P 500 last traded down 1.6%.
The Nikkei, however, was up 1.9% for the week. The index climbed 6.7% in April, marking it best month since October 2017.
Wall Street lost ground on Thursday as dismal economic data and mixed corporate earnings prompted investors to lock in profits, with all three major U.S. indexes finishing lower.
In Tokyo, shares of semiconductor-related stocks tracked losses in their U.S. peers, after the Philadelphia semiconductor index tumbled 3.7% overnight.
Chip-making gear manufacturers Tokyo Electron Ltd and Screen Holdings Co Ltd slid 5.5% and 6.1%, respectively, while test device maker Advantest Corp dropped 5.6%.
The broader Topix shed 2.2% to 1,431.26, also off an eight-week high marked on Thursday, with all of the 33 sector sub-indexes on the Tokyo exchange finishing lower.
Highly cyclical sea transport, iron and steel and insurance were the worst three performing sectors on the main bourse.
Even companies whose earnings results didn’t disappoint investors were not immune from the broad-based selling.
Kagome Co Ltd slipped 1.2% even though the tomato processor posted a 42.0% jump in net profit for the financial year ended in March.
Murata Manufacturing Co Ltd lost 2.0% after the electronic parts maker reported a 5.1% drop in annual operating profit, which beat the company’s initial guidance.
Traders said the earnings reports prompted some investors to book profits ahead of a long holiday weekend. Markets in Japan will be closed until Wednesday for the annual Golden Week holidays.
Mitsubishi UFJ Financial Group (MUFG) Inc dropped 4.4% as the country’s largest banking group cut its annual net profit estimate by 30%, primarily due to a one-off charge at its Thai unit.
Elsewhere, Z Holdings Corp, formerly known as Yahoo Japan, bucked the broader trend to advance 1.7% after the internet services firm posted an 8.4% increase in operating profit for the year ended March.
Reporting by Tomo Uetake; Editing by Aditya Soni & Shri Navaratnam