November 28, 2019 / 6:38 AM / 17 days ago

Nikkei snaps 4-day winning streak after Trump move backing Hong Kong protesters

* Japanese shares dip after Trump signs Hong Kong bills

* Market sentiment still robust on hopes of global recovery

* Small-, mid-cap shares outperform

By Hideyuki Sano

TOKYO, Nov 28 (Reuters) - Japanese shares dipped on Thursday after U.S. President Donald Trump signed into law congressional legislation backing protesters in Hong Kong, sparking fears of a fresh confrontation with Beijing that could derail their trade talks.

The Nikkei share average fell 0.12% to 23,409.14, snapping a four-day winning streak while the broader Topix lost 0.17% to 1,708.06, with decliners outnumbering gainers by 1,416 to 628.

China warned the United States on Thursday it would take "firm counter measures" in response to U.S. legislation backing anti-government protesters in Hong Kong, saying attempts to interfere in the Chinese-ruled city were doomed to fail.

"In the near term, people are watching how China will react to Trump's move," said Masahiro Ayukai, senior investment strategist at Mitsubishi UFJ Morgan Stanley Securities.

"But there is little change in the view that the global economic sentiment is bottoming out," he added.

Against such a backdrop, some selected technology-related shares gained, with Hitachi rising 1.8% to hit a 1 1/2-year high.

Kyocera gained 1.9% to its best level since early 2018 while Fujitsu rose 1.1% to a 10-year high.

Panasonic rose 2.8% after the Nikkei business daily reported that the company plans to pull out from its small, money-losing semiconductor business.

On the other hand, some defensive shares lost their edge, with Central Japan Railway falling 1.6% and East Japan Railway down 1.1%.

Japan Display dropped 4.2% after the struggling panel maker said on Wednesday it would review its past earnings after a former accounting executive notified the company of a past accounting fraud which he said was directed by former top management.

Turnover dropped to 1.598 trillion yen, about 25 below the average over the past year due to U.S. Thanksgiving holiday.

With many foreign players away, small- to mid-cap shares - which are popular with Japanese retail investors - fared better.

The Tokyo Stock Exchange's second-section index rose 1.7% to hit near one-year high and the Mothers Index of start-up firms ticking up 0.2%.

Reporting by Hideyuki Sano; Editing by Christopher Cushing

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