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Nikkei ends flat as banks' weakness offset Fast Retailing's gains
November 6, 2017 / 6:25 AM / 18 days ago

Nikkei ends flat as banks' weakness offset Fast Retailing's gains

TOKYO, Nov 6 (Reuters) - Japan’s Nikkei share average ended flat on Monday as weakness in the banking sector offset gains in index-heavy Fast Retailing, while Subaru tumbled after the company cut its annual profit forecasts.

The Nikkei ended almost unchanged at 22,548.35, after rising as high as 22,644.68, its highest intraday level since June 1996.

Japanese markets were closed for a holiday on Friday.

Last week, the Nikkei rose 2.4 percent to mark its eighth straight weekly gain. That was its longest winning streak since Prime Minister Shinzo Abe’s Abenomics reforms started in late 2012.

The broader Topix edged down 0.1 percent to 1,792.66 and the JPX-Nikkei Index 400 was flat at 15,905.43.

Bank of Japan Governor Haruhiko Kuroda said on Monday the central bank was closely watching the potential damage that prolonged ultra-easy policy could have on financial institutions’ profits.

He said such a risk was not serious for now because financial institutions had a sufficient buffer against declining profits.

The banking subindex was down 1.6 percent.

Mizuho Financial Group slipped 1.4 percent, Mitsubishi UFJ Financial Group skidded 1.6 percent and Sumitomo Mitsui Financial Group shed 1.1 percent.

SoftBank Group Corp dropped 2.6 percent, after its group company Sprint Corp and T-Mobile US Inc said they have called off merger talks intended to create a stronger U.S. wireless company to rival market leaders.

Fast Retailing Co rose 2.2 percent, after the operator of clothing retailer Uniqlo said last week that sales jumped 8.9 pct in October from the previous year on brisk sales of winter clothes because of cold weather.

Reporting by Lisa Twaronite and Ayai Tomisawa; Editing by Eric Meijer

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