TOKYO, May 27 (Reuters) - Japanese shares retreated on
Thursday as investors trimmed their positions after a recent
rally, while uncertainties about domestic economic growth due to
a possible extension of COVID-19 emergency measures weighed on
The Nikkei share average fell 0.69% to 28,445.25 by
0157 GMT, after a gain of 2.1% in five straight sessions. The
broader Topix fell 0.39% to 1,913.32.
"We can say the market is down due to profit-taking, but
there are also uncertainties ahead of us that are making
investors cautions," said Takatoshi Itoshima, strategist at
Pictet Asset Management.
"Overseas investors particularly are sceptical about the
pace of Japan's COVID-19 vaccine rollouts, while economic
outlook remains unclear as Japan is leaning toward extending the
state of emergency."
Japan, which is slated to host the Tokyo 2020 Olympics in
July, is struggling to contain a fourth wave of infections even
as biggest cities are covered under emergency measures.
Tokyo governor Yuriko Koike on Wednesday sought the current
state of emergency, originally set to be lifted at the end of
May, to be extended for "about another month," while Osaka in
the western region has made a similar request.
Investors want to see the impact of the MSCI's regular
rebalancing, which will complete by the end of the session, as
29 Japanese shares will be excluded from its main index,
Shippers and steel makers led the
declines, falling 2.05% and 1.46%, respectively, while airliners
, up 2.51%, gained the most among the 33 Tokyo
Astellas Pharma, up 3.26%, was the biggest
percentage gainer among the top 30 core Topix names, followed by
The underperformers among the Topix 30 were Recruit Holdings
Co, down 2.83%, followed by Seven & i Holdings
(Reporting by Junko Fujita and Kevin Buckland; editing by