January 10, 2018 / 6:48 AM / a year ago

Nikkei pauses after sharp gains; financial stocks rise

TOKYO, Jan 10 (Reuters) - Japan’s Nikkei share average took a breather on Wednesday after sharp gains, with some index-heavy stocks losing ground after the index hit a 26-year high in the previous session.

The Nikkei ended 0.3 percent lower at 23,788.20, staying slightly below its 26-year high of 23,952.61.

Index-heavy stocks such as chip equipment maker Tokyo Electron tumbled 1.7 percent and clothing store operator Fast Retailing shed 1.2 percent, contributing 35 negative points together to the Nikkei index.

The broader Topix, however, was up 0.2 percent at 1,892.11.

Financial companies, which invest in higher-yielding products such as foreign bonds, climbed, with the insurance sector and the banking sector both rising 1.3 percent.

Yields on the 10-year U.S. Treasury note reached a 10-month high on Tuesday, after the Bank of Japan said it would trim its purchases of Japanese government bonds.

Dai-ichi Life Holdings soared 2.6 percent, T&D Holdings added 1.8 percent, Mitsubishi UFJ Financial Group advanced 1.6 percent and Mizuho Financial Group gained 1.0 percent.

Editing by Jacqueline Wong

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