February 28, 2018 / 6:48 AM / a year ago

Nikkei falls on weak industrial data, BOJ move to cut long bond buying

TOKYO, Feb 28 (Reuters) - Japan's Nikkei share average fell on Wednesday, snapping a three-day winning streak, pressured by losses on Wall Street and a larger-than-expected fall in Japanese industrial output.

The Bank of Japan's decision to trim purchases of super long bonds also soured sentiment by boosting the yen.

The Nikkei ended 1.4 percent lower at 22,068.24 points.

Most sectors were in the red, with index-heavyweight stocks underperforming. Fast Retailing fell 2.5 percent, SoftBank Group Corp shed 2.4 percent and Fanuc Corp slid 2.0 percent.

Data early in the day showed slowing production of cars and electronics in January tipped Japan's industrial output into its biggest tumble since a devastating earthquake in March 2011, highlighting a weakening in demand and a build up of inventory.

Confidence was further dented after the Bank of Japan trimmed the amount of super long Japanese government bonds it offered to purchase at its regular debt-buying operation.

Global investors are increasingly worried over how much longer the BOJ can maintain its massive stimulus campaign. Though a complete exit from these policies is believed to be a long way off, economists worry that the central bank won't be able to start scaling back its asset purchases more actively without disrupting financial markets.

Exporters were also battered, with Honda Motor falling 2.2 percent and TDK Corp dropping 1.9 percent.

As oil prices extended declines into a second day, the mining sector was hit. Inpex Corp tumbled 4.9 percent and Japan Petroleum Exploration Co slumped 3.9 percent.

The broader Topix dropped 1.2 percent to 1,768.24. (Editing by Jacqueline Wong and Kim Coghill)

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