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Japanese shares slip back as investors look to U.S. stimulus debate

12/07/2020 | 10:10pm EDT

TOKYO, Dec 8 (Reuters) - Japanese shares dipped on Tuesday as a month-old bull run ran out of gas, with investors looking to see whether U.S. lawmakers can agree on a fresh pandemic relief package soon.

The Nikkei share average lost 0.27% to 26,475.11, touching its lowest level in 12 days. The broader Topix shed 0.03% to 1,760.12, having touched a low since Nov. 20.

The U.S. Congress will vote this week on a one-week stopgap funding bill to provide more time for lawmakers to reach a deal on COVID-19 relief and an overarching spending bill to avoid a government shutdown.

Japan will compile a fresh 73.6 trillion yen ($708 billion) economic stimulus package to speed up the country's recovery from its deep coronavirus slump, Prime Minister Yoshihide Suga said.

Sentiment remained upbeat as investors expect the global economic recovery to continue, with COVID-19 vaccines look set to be rolled out soon and stimulate consumption worldwide.

"The global manufacturing cycle is about to enter an expansion phase from contraction. For value shares including a lot of Japanese shares, that is the phase when they historically performed the best," said Shusuke Yamada, chief Japan FX and equity strategist at Bank of America.

Hydrogen product maker Iwatani jumped 10.1% after the Nikkei business daily reported that the Japanese government was likely to set a target to expand the use of hydrogen to 10 million tonne by 2030 to meet its emission goal.

Sekisui House rose 4.8% after the housing maker's earnings came in better than expected.

Many tech-related shares gained, with Keyence rising 1.3% while Nintendo gained 1% and Murata Manufacturing went up 0.9%.

On the other hand, drugmakers underperformed with Daiichi Sankyo losing 2.8% and Astellas Pharma falling 1.9%.

The index of Mothers start-up market briefly fell below its 100-day moving average for the first time since late April but managed to bounce back to end 0.47% higher at midday. (Reporting by Hideyuki Sano; Editing by Subhranshu Sahu)

ę Reuters 2020
Stocks mentioned in the article
ChangeLast1st jan.
ASTELLAS PHARMA INC. -1.45% 1875 End-of-day quote.17.63%
BANK OF AMERICA CORPORATION 2.66% 43.26 Delayed Quote.42.73%
DAIICHI SANKYO COMPANY, LIMITED 0.26% 3084 End-of-day quote.-12.76%
IWATANI CORPORATION 0.00% 6590 End-of-day quote.3.62%
KEYENCE CORPORATION -2.55% 69190 End-of-day quote.19.29%
MURATA MANUFACTURING CO., LTD. -1.29% 9970 End-of-day quote.6.97%
NIKKEI 225 -0.19% 30183.96 Real-time Quote.10.19%
NINTENDO CO., LTD. 0.71% 54180 End-of-day quote.-17.70%
SEKISUI HOUSE, LTD. -0.33% 2388.5 End-of-day quote.13.74%
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