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Japan's Nikkei inches lower as chip-related stocks slip

TOKYO, June 28 (Reuters) - Japan’s benchmark Nikkei index slipped on Monday, weighed down by losses in chip-related stocks following a muted Nasdaq session on Friday, while investors were also cautious ahead of key U.S. economic data releases later this week.

The Nikkei slipped 0.28% to 28,984,93 by the end of the morning session, erasing early gains of 0.19%, while the broader Topix was down 0.04% at 1,961.00.

“Some key U.S. economic reports such as jobs data will be released later this week, so inventors will remain cautious for the whole week,” said Tomoichiro Kubota, a senior market analyst at Matsui Securities. “But that does not mean sentiment is bad as other indexes have risen.”

The S&P 500 ended last week at record high, led by Nike and several banks, while the Nasdaq closed slightly lower on Friday.

Chip-making equipment maker Tokyo Electron fell 1.45% and chip-testing equipment maker Advantest lost 1.18%.

Medical service platform firm M3 and drug maker Eisai fell 1.42% and 1.27%, respectively.

Among gainers, Seven & i Holdings jumped 4.47% after the U.S. antitrust authorities ordered 7-Eleven to sell over 200 retail outlets, resolving competition concerns over the Japanese retail giant’s $21 billion acquisition of the Speedway fuel chain from Marathon Petroleum.

Asics, which provides gloves and spikes to a major leaguer Shohei Ohtani, tracked a surge in Nike shares on Friday to rise 3.54%.

Seven & i Holdings rose the most among the top 30 Topix names, followed by Kao, which gained 1.18%.

The underperformers among the Topix 30 were Daikin Industries, down 0.95%, followed by Recruit Holdings , which lost 0.91%.

The index of Tokyo Stock Exchange’s second section rose 0.64%, while the Mothers Index of start-up firms gained 0.61%. (Reporting by Junko Fujita; Editing by Subhranshu Sahu)

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