December 20, 2013 / 2:15 AM / 4 years ago

Nikkei takes breather after Fed move; BOJ in focus

* Trading subdued before 3-day weekend, Christmas holidays
    * Nikkei is on rising trend, may reach 16,000 by year end -
analyst
    * BOJ awaited, policymakers widely expected to maintain
ultra-easy policy

    By Ayai Tomisawa
    TOKYO, Dec 20 (Reuters) - Japan's Nikkei share average edged
down on Friday morning as investors booked profits before the
long weekend, with trading subdued ahead of the outcome of a
Bank of Japan meeting later in the day.
    The BOJ is expected to maintain its commitment to ultra-easy
monetary policy, barely a day after the U.S. Federal Reserve
announced it will start to taper its massive stimulus from next
month. 
    "The market moved passed a big event, so profit-taking is
natural," said Kazuhiro Miyake, a chief strategist at Daiwa
Securities, referring to the Fed taper decision.
    "But there's more upside to the market as both macro funds
which trade on a three-to-six month view and long-term investors
who look at fundamentals are pouring money into the Japanese
market."
     Recent gainers retreated, with SoftBank Corp 
dropping 0.6 percent and KDDI Corp falling 2.7 percent.
Brokerage firms Nomura Holdings dropped 0.8 percent and
Daiwa Securities Group shed 0.5 percent.
    The Nikkei dropped 0.4 percent to 15,795.26 in
mid-morning trade after rising 1.7 percent to finish at
15,859.22 on the previous day, its highest close since Dec.
2007. The benchmark rose 4.7 percent between Tuesday and
Thursday.
    For the week, the index has risen 2.5 percent.
    With Japanese markets closed for a national holiday on
Monday and many foreign investors away for the Christmas break,
trading is expected to remain subdued through to year-end,
analysts said.
    Daiwa's Miyake expects the Nikkei go above the 16,000-mark
by year-end.
    The Topix fell 0.3 percent to 1,259.08.
    Exporters were mixed after a broad-rally on Thursday on the
back of a weak yen. The dollar steadied at 104.29 yen,
but still close to a five-year high of 104.37 yen touched in the
wake of the Fed's announcement.
    Nikon Corp rose 0.7 percent, Sony Corp 
added 0.3 percent, while Toyota Motor Corp shed 0.3
percent.
    Namco Bandai Holdings rose 1.7 percent after UBS
Securities upgraded its rating to 'buy' from 'neutral', citing
growing game titles next year.
    The Nikkei is up around 50 percent this year, driven by
Tokyo's aggressive fiscal and monetary stimulus aimed at pulling
the world's third-largest economy out of two decades of
stagnation. The benchmark is on track for its best yearly rise
since 1972.

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