Japan’s Nikkei Slips from Record High as Rally Pauses for Breath (Update 1)

Yomiuri Shimbun file photo
Tokyo Stock Exchange

TOKYO (Reuters) – Japan’s Nikkei share average eased back on Wednesday from an all-time peak scaled in the previous session, with technical signals suggesting that the more-than-9% gain made over the last three weeks had been too rapid.

The Nikkei ended the day down 0.08% at 39,208.03. The benchmark marked a record intraday peak of 39,426.29 in the previous session and an all-time closing high of 39,239.52.

Overall, the market was fairly mixed, with decliners outnumbering advancers by only 120 to 104, with one stock flat.

Two heavyweight stocks, Uniqlo operator Fast Retailing and startup investor SoftBank Group, lost a combined 45 index points, exceeding the 32-point decline for the Nikkei as a whole.

Meanwhile, e-commerce and gaming company DeNA stood out with a more-than-24% surge on news it would offer a new mobile game based on the Pokemon trading cards.

The broader Topix slipped 0.13.

A measure of momentum called the relative strength index (RSI) sat around 78 for the Nikkei on Wednesday, keeping it above the 70 line that indicates an overbought market every session since Feb. 13.

“Considering the speed of the rally, the market is showing signs of overheating, so some pullback is easy to imagine,” said Maki Sawada, an equity strategist at Nomura Securities.

“Declines today aren’t driven by any particular bad news, so the extent of any retreat is likely to be limited.”

Among the Tokyo Stock Exchange’s 33 industry sectors, electric and gas led advancers with a more-than-3% rise, followed by a 2.55% gain for paper and pulp.

At the other end, the so-called miscellaneous products index, which includes sporting goods brand Mizuno and Mitsubishi Pencil, was the worst performer, with a 1% drop.