TOKYO, June 4 (Reuters) - Japanese shares slipped on Friday
as investors took profits, mostly on growth shares, ahead of a
key U.S. jobs report that could intensify worries about
inflation and tapering in the Federal Reserve's stimulus.
The Nikkei average lost 0.49% to 28,916.89 after two
days of gains, while the broader Topix lost 0.21% to
1,954.57, snapping its three-day winning streak.
Growth shares dragged, with a fall of 0.46%, while
value shares were almost flat.
Investors sold tech shares and stay-at-home winners as a
strong reading in U.S. jobs report could fan expectations the
Fed could taper its stimulus sooner than expected, thus
withdrawing a support from richly-valued shares.
SoftBank Group, whose Vision Fund owns global tech
firm shares, lost 1.4%.
Industrial robot makers posted sizable losses, with Fanuc
losing 2.5% and Yaskawa Electric dropping
Some of last year's star performers crumbled. Medical
support service operator M3 shed 4.1% while bicycle
maker Shimano shed 1.9%.
Still the market was fairly supported overall, as
acceleration of Japan's vaccination programme took out one major
obstacle for the market.
Many railway companies gained, with West Japan Railway
up 1.0% and Central Japan Railway gaining
"Japan's slow vaccination had been a reason to sell Japanese
stocks. But now about one in ten people have got at least one
shot, which is much better than just one percent about a month
ago, even though the number is still far below those in many
other developed countries," said Takashi Hiroki, chief
strategist at Monex Securities.
Investors were also scooping up large traditional Japanese
companies, including Toyota Motor, which gained 1% to a
record high, having risen 10 of the last 11 sessions.
Hitachi added 1.8% to hit a 20-year high while
Mitsubishi Chemical rose 2.2% to a two-year high.
(Reporting by Hideyuki Sano; editing by Uttaresh.V)