TOKYO, Sept 15 (Reuters) - Japanese shares retreated on
Wednesday from three-decade peaks hit in the previous session,
as investors took profits after a strong rally over the last two
weeks on hopes of a new government and a fresh economic
The Nikkei average dropped 0.79% to 30,428.74. On
Tuesday, it rose above its February peak to reach 30,795.78, its
highest level since August 1990. The broader Topix shed
1.14% to 2,094.80.
The markets' rally has gathered pace since Sept. 3 when
Prime Minister Yoshihide Suga announced his plan to step down,
bolstering hopes of new stimulus package. Investors also saw
reduced risk of the ruling coalition losing in an upcoming
election that must be held by November.
Vaccine Minister Taro Kono is now seen as a leading
candidate in the ruling Liberal Democratic Party's (LDP)
leadership election on Sept 29.
"The market had risen a bit too much too fast... Investors
now want to see the outcome of the LDP race. While Kono seems to
be viewed as a reformist, it is not entirely clear what kind of
economic policies he will adopt," said Naoya Oshikubo, senior
economist at Sumitomo Mitsui Trust Asset Management.
SoftBank Group lost 5%, weighed by concerns about
its exposure to Alibaba and other Chinese tech firms
as Beijing steps up regulation in the sector.
Property builders were the worst-performing
sectoral index with a fall of 2.4%. Some analysts attributed the
weakness to a spillover from troubles in Chinese real estate
Many Japanese suppliers of Apple slid after the
iPhone maker's shares dropped on Tuesday when it unveiled its
Murata Manufacturing lost 2.8%, while Ibiden
Elsewhere, Park24 lost 6.9% after the operator of
parking lots posted its six consecutive quarterly net loss, hit
by the COVID-19 pandemic.
(Reporting by Hideyuki Sano; editing by Uttaresh.V)