February 17, 2015 / 2:15 AM / 4 years ago

Nikkei retreats from near 8-year high as Greek drama drags on

* Investors risk averse but Greece's contagion risk limited
to Japanese market - analyst
    * Index-heavy stocks lower

    By Ayai Tomisawa
    TOKYO, Feb 17 (Reuters) - Japan's Nikkei share average fell
on Tuesday, retreating from a near eight-year high after talks
between Greece and euro zone finance ministers on a new debt
deal collapsed.
    The Nikkei shed 0.3 percent to 17,946.55 points by
mid-morning after rising to as high as 18,074.26 on the previous
day, the highest since July 2007.
    Talks between Greece and euro zone finance ministers over
the country's debt broke down when Athens rejected a proposal to
request a six-month extension of its international bailout as
    Dutch Finance Minister Jeroen Dijsselbloem, who chaired the
meeting, said Athens had until Friday to request an extension,
otherwise the bailout would expire at the end of the month.
    Although the sudden collapse of the talks made investors
risk averse, any impact to the Japanese stock market is seen as
limited, according to market participants.
    "I'm quite optimistic regardless of the outcome," said Toru
Ibayashi, executive director of wealth management at UBS in
    "Even if Greece withdraws from the eurozone, its exit should
not have a major contagion risk to the eurozone because European
banks have little exposure to Greece compared to a few years
    Index heavyweigh stocks languished, with SoftBank Corp
 and Fast Retailing Co both falling 0.6
    Exporters were mixed, with Toyota Motor Corp 
dropping 0.4 percent and Nissan Motor Co gaining 1.5
percent, and Canon Inc dropping 0.2 percent.
    Underperforming the market was Hiroshima Gas Co,
which tumbled 9.4 percent to a six-week low after saying it will
sell up to 1.9 billion yen in new shares.
    The broader Topix shed 0.1 percent to 1,457.66 and
the JPX-Nikkei Index 400 also dropped 0.1 percent to

 (Editing by Kim Coghill)
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