TOKYO, March 23 (Reuters) - Japanese shares snapped early
gains to end lower on Tuesday, tracking lacklustre performance
in Chinese markets as investors locked in profit on a recent
rally in some mainland firms, while the volatility of U.S. bond
yields also dampened risk appetite.
The Nikkei share average fell 0.61% to close at
28,995.92, while the broader Topix declined 0.94% to
"The retreat in the afternoon is simply due to the outside
factors, such as declines in China stocks and U.S. futures,"
said Masahiro Ichikawa, chief market strategist at Sumitomo
Mitsui DS Asset Management.
"Investors held their bets as they are still cautious about
the direction of the U.S. bond yields."
Treasury yields dipped on Monday, but held near more than
one-year highs as investors bet on a faster U.S. economic
recovery and higher inflation pressures.
Nikkei heavyweights SoftBank Group fell 0.9% and
Fast Retailing lost 0.1%.
Persistent worries of policy tightening in China also
continued to weigh on high-flying sectors and stocks with lofty
valuations as investors turned cautious.
Companies that rely on China slumped, with robot maker Fanuc
losing 1.53% and construction machinery maker Komatsu
Japan Exchange Group jumped 2.78% after the
operator of the Tokyo Stock Exchange raised its full-year net
profit forecast to 51.5 billion yen ($473.17 million) from 45.5
Stocks that gained the most among the top 30 core Topix
names were Nintendo up 1.59 %, followed by Seven & i
Holdings, up 1.23%.
Mitsubishi UFJ Financial Group and Central Japan
Railway, which lost more than 3% each, were the worst
performers among the Topix 30.
The largest percentage gainers in the Nikkei index were
Japan Exchange Group, followed by Canon gaining 1.95 %
and Shionogi & Co up 1.76%.
Kawasaki Kisen Kaisha, down 7.21 %, was the biggest
loser in the Nikkei, followed by Rakuten losing 6.69 %
and Mitsui OSK Lines falling 5.82 %.
(Reporting by Junko Fujita, Editing by Sherry Jacob-Phillips)