January 10, 2018 / 2:34 AM / in 9 months

Nikkei takes breather after sharp gains; Fast Retailing, Tokyo Electron fall

TOKYO (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.

FILE PHOTO: Men exchange greetings in front of an electronic board displaying the Nikkei average outside a brokerage in Tokyo, Japan January 4, 2018. REUTERS/Kim Kyung-Hoon

The Nikkei .N225 fell 0.3 percent to 23,798.90, staying slightly below its 26-year high of 23,951.61.

Index-heavy stocks such as chip equipment maker Tokyo Electron (8035.T) tumbled 2.0 percent and clothing store operator Fast Retailing (9983.T) shed 0.8 percent, contributing 30 negative points together to the Nikkei index.

The broader Topix .TOPX, however, was up 0.1 percent to 1,891.22.

Financial stocks, which invest in higher-yielding products such as foreign bonds, were higher, with the insurance sector .IINSU.T rising 1.6 percent and the banking sector .IBNKS.T adding 1.5 percent.

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

Dai-ichi Life Holdings (8750.T) soared 2.5 percent, T&D Holdings (8795.T) added 1.4 percent, Mitsubishi UFJ Financial Group (8306.T) advanced 1.4 percent and Mizuho Financial Group (8411.T) gained 1.0 percent.

Editing by Sam Holmes

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