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Nikkei steps back after 9-day rally; volume, turnover lowest since early Nov


[TOKYO] Japanese stocks edged down in thin trade on Monday, snapping a nine-day rally as a pullback on Wall Street prompted investors to cash in on outperformers such as exporters and banks.

The Nikkei share average shed 0.1 per cent to 19,391.60 after soaring 6.2 per cent in the past nine days, mainly supported by a weak yen as the dollar rose broadly on expectations of a faster pace of US interest rate hikes next year.

The Bank of Japan began a two-day policy meeting, at which it is expected to stand pat on its 10-year government bond yield target as the weaker yen helps Japan's economic prospects, a Reuters poll showed on Friday.

Analysts said that trading volume will likely be subdued this week as foreign investors head off on Christmas holidays.

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Monday's trading volume and turnover on the main board were thin, with only 1.74 billion shares changing hands, the lowest since November 8. Turnover was also the lowest since the same day.

The Topix dropped 0.1 per cent to 1,549.06 and the JPX-Nikkei Index 400 was down 0.04 per cent to 13,877.52.