Japanese shares dip after Trump move backing Hong Kong protesters

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 0.02% to 23,433.16, off its 13 1/2-month peak hit on Tuesday while the broader Topix lost 0.1% to 1,709.33.

China has denounced the U.S. legislation as gross interference in its affairs and a violation of international law and has vowed counter-measures to safeguard its sovereignty and security.

“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 1.6% to hit a 1 1/2-year high.

Kyocera gained 2.1% to its best level since early 2018 while Fujitsu rose 0.7% to a 10-year high.

Panasonic rose 2.6% 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 1.3% and East Japan Railway down 1.1%.

Japan Display dropped 5.6% 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.

Small- to mid-cap shares fared better, with the Tokyo Stock Exchange’s second-section index rising 0.7% 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