Japanese shares dropped on Friday on profit-taking ahead of the weekend, with trading volume remaining low due to the Easter holidays abroad.
The benchmark Nikkei average slipped 0.1 per cent to 19,326.78 by the midday break, despite overnight gains on Wall Street, as investors locked in some recent gains.
The Dow Jones Industrial Average rose 1.2 per cent, the S&P 500 gained 1.5 per cent and the Nasdaq Composite added 0.8 per cent on Thursday.
Bucking the broader weakness in Japanese equities, Nikkei heavyweight Fast Retailing Co Ltd climbed 3.8 per cent on earnings and forecast, helping to cap the benchmark’s loses.
The owner of casual clothing chain Uniqlo forecast a 44 per cent fall in full-year profit after the coronavirus outbreak hit sales in China and dealt a setback to its ambitions of conquering the US and European markets.
Analysts said the markets liked the fact that the fashion retailer provided a guidance, unlike many of its peers.
For the week, the Nikkei was up about 8.5 per cent, which would be its second biggest weekly gain since July 2016 if sustained until the close.
The broader Topix fell 0.5 per cent to 1,409.43, with all but four of the 33 sector sub-indexes on the exchange trading in negative territory.
Mining, air transport and rubber products were the worst three performing sectors on the main bourse.
Ryohin Keikaku Co Ltd shed 3.5 per cent after the operator of Muji-brand retail stores reported its net profit for the business year ended in February fell 31 per cent.
Overall activity was subdued, with the volume of shares traded on the main board valued at 1.04 trillion yen by the midday recess.
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