July 19, 2018 / 7:27 AM / a year ago

Nikkei snaps 4-day winning streak; weak cosmetics cos offset oil, machinery stocks

* Nikkei’s immediate resistance level seen at 23,000 - analyst

* Cosmetics stocks slip on profit-taking

* Oil stocks, machinery stocks attract buying

By Ayai Tomisawa

TOKYO, July 19 (Reuters) - Japan’s Nikkei share average snapped a four-day winning streak in choppy trade on Thursday as investors took profits, with weakness in inbound-tourism related stocks offsetting gains in oil names and machinery makers.

The Nikkei’s early gains evoporated in the afternoon, closing trade 0.1 percent lower at 22,764.68. It was the first drop in five days, after reaching 22,949.32 on Wednesday - the highest level since June 13.

“The Nikkei’s level of 23,000 has become its immediate resistance, and when the index nears this level, profit-taking occurs,” said Yutaka Miura, a senior technical analyst at Mizuho Securities.

The broader Topix dropped 0.1 percent to 1,749.59.

Inbound-tourism related stocks such as cosmetics makers and baby goods makers that were performing strongly recently lost ground. Traders said long-term investors such as pension fund managers were looking to lock-in profits from the recent gainers, while they also bought back recently-battered machinery stocks hit by China’s economic slowdown.

Shiseido Co tumbled 4.8 percent, Fancl Corp nosedived 9.3 percent, while Kose Corp stumbled 7.1 percent. Baby bottle maker Pigeon Corp slumped 5.2 percent.

Machinery stocks, which were under pressure recently on worries about slowing China demand, rebounded.

Makino Milling Machine rose 2.6 percent, Okuma and Yaskawa Electric each added 2.4 percent.

Oil shares jumped after the Nikkei business daily reported that Japanese oil distributors are preparing to suspend imports of Iranian crude oil in line with U.S. demands, stoking speculation the move would lift procurement costs and bump up oil prices.

Idemitsu Kosan jumped 3.1 percent, Showa Shell rallied 3.8 percent and Cosmo Energy advanced 4.0 percent. Inpex rose 3.3 percent.

Editing by Shri Navaratnam

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