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Nikkei winning streak ends but Topix soldiers on

JIJI

The Nikkei 225 average’s winning streak came to an end Wednesday as profit-taking took its toll.

After four straight sessions coming out on top, the Nikkei fell 43.18 points to close at 14,055.56. On Tuesday, the key market gauge surged 246.24 points to end above 14,000 for the first time since May 29.

The Topix eked out a rise of 1.97 points to end at 1,173.81 after rising 21.14 points Tuesday. Its rising streak reached a fifth consecutive session.

Stocks drew buying in early trading as the yen fell past 100 to the dollar for the first time in about a month, brokers said.

After the initial buying spree ran its course, however, the Nikkei’s gains slipped away. Profit-taking took the upper hand after the Nikkei gained more than 1,200 points in the past four trading days through Tuesday, market sources said.

Still, the market’s downside was limited, thanks to purchases backed by the weakness of the yen, the sources said.

Foreign investors, major players on the TSE, generally took a wait-and-see stance ahead of Friday’s release of closely watched U.S. jobs data for June by the Labor Department, an official at a bank-affiliated brokerage said.

They also refrained from active trading because the U.S. stock market will be closed Thursday for Independence Day, the official said, adding that close attention will be paid to Automatic Data Processing Inc.’s U.S. private-sector employment report for June, due out Wednesday, which is regarded as a precursor to the jobs data from the government.

The Nikkei lost ground but moved above 14,000 for most of Wednesday’s session as “investors took heart from the yen’s decline past 100 to the dollar,” said Masashi Oguchi of Mito Securities Co.’s investment information department.

Rising issues outnumbered falling ones 864 to 714 on the first section, while 135 issues were unchanged. Volume decreased to 2.815 billion shares from 3.020 billion the day before.

JGBs find resiliency

Japanese government bonds bounced back Wednesday thanks to the fall in the Nikkei stock average.

In late interdealer trading in cash JGBs, the yield on the benchmark 329th 10-year issue with a 0.8 percent coupon stood at 0.870 percent, down from 0.890 percent late Tuesday, after briefly touching a three-week high of 0.900 percent.