Japanese shares weighed down by tech stocks but set for weekly gain
Japanese shares weighed down by tech stocks but set for weekly gain

Japanese shares fell on Friday, weighed down by tech stocks and caution ahead of U.S. inflation data, but benchmark indexes were set for their first weekly gain in three as fears around the Omicron coronavirus variant eased.

The Nikkei share average (.N225) was down 0.4% to 28,603.33 by 0221 GMT, but set to gain 2% for the week. The broader Topix (.TOPX) lost 0.29% to 1,984.98, but was on course to post a 1.3% weekly gain.

"Technology and growth shares were affected by the Nasdaq's weak finish overnight," said Masahiro Ichikawa, chief market strategist at Sumitomo Mitsui DS Asset Management. 

Wall Street ended lower overnight as investors booked some profits after three straight days of gains, with the Nasdaq (.IXIC) falling more sharply than the S&P 500 (.SPX), while the Dow (.DJI) was virtually flat.

"It is hard for investors to make bets ahead of the U.S. CPI (Consumer Price Index) data this evening and the FOMC (Federal Open Market Committee) meeting next week," Ichikawa said.

A higher-than-expected CPI reading would strengthen the case for a policy tightening decision at the U.S. central bank's meeting.

Chip-related shares fell, with Advantest (6857.T) and Tokyo Electron (8035.T) losing 1.55% and 0.21%, respectively. Medical equipment maker Terumo (4543.T) slipped 1.96% and game maker Bandai Namco Holdings (7832.T) lost 2.92%.

Staffing agency Recruit Holdings (6098.T) dragged down the Nikkei the most by falling 4.54% and was the biggest percentage loser on the index.

Hitachi (6501.T) gained the most among the top 30 core Topix names by rising 2.16%, followed by Nintendo (7974.T), which climbed 1.83%.

There were 105 advancers on the Nikkei index against 114 decliners

The Mothers Index (.MTHR) of start-up firm shares lost 1.14%.

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