TOKYO, July 14 (Reuters) - Japanese shares closed lower
after two straight sessions of gains on Wednesday, with
investors holding their bets ahead of U.S. Federal Reserve Chair
Jerome Powell's congressional testimony.
The Nikkei share average lost 0.38% to end at
28,608.49, while the broader Topix slipped 0.23% to
1,963.16. For the week so far, the Nikkei is up 2.4% so far,
while the Topix is almost 2.7% higher.
"Investors are locking in their profits after sharp gains in
the market. But until we see market indicators from corporate
earnings reports, the market will be quiet," said Shoichi
Arisawa, general manager of the investment research department
at IwaiCosmo Securities.
"The market is also moving in a tight range, as investors
await Powell's testimony, which will take place after U.S.
consumer prices rose sharply."
U.S. consumer prices rose by the most in 13 years last
month, while so-called core consumer prices surged 4.5% year
over year, the largest rise since November 1991.
Powell's testimony on Wednesday and Thursday is in focus for
his comments about rising price pressures and monetary support
In Japan, shippers led declines, with Kawasaki
Kisen falling 4.14% in the biggest drop on the Nikkei.
Tire makers and airlines also
fell, with Bridgestone losing 3.87%, while ANA Holdings
and Japan Airlines fell 2.42% and 3.19%,
Yaskawa Electric fell 2.11%, retreating from a
3.14% gain this week after the robot maker raised its annual
Toho surged 11.09% after the film and entertainment
company said its operating profit almost quadrupled in the
Takeda Pharmaceutical gained the most among the top
30 core Topix names with a gain of 1.74%, followed by Recruit
Holdings rising 1.51%.
Hitachi, down 3.02%, was the biggest loser among
the top 30 core Topix names, followed by Fanuc losing
(Reporting by Junko Fujita; editing by Uttaresh.V and Rashmi