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Tokyo: Nikkei snaps 4-day winning streak on profit-taking

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[TOKYO] Tokyo's benchmark Nikkei index closed slightly lower on Monday as investors cashed in on recent gains after a four-day winning streak.

The Nikkei 225 index lost 0.26 per cent, or 60.03 points, to 23,331.84, but the broader Topix index edged up 0.07 per cent, or 1.26 points, to 1,704.03.

"It's no surprise to see profit-taking after the Nikkei climbed steadily in recent trading," Shinichi Yamamoto, a broker at Okasan Securities in Tokyo, told AFP.

But the decline was limited as investors were still encouraged by rallies on Wall Street amid increasing optimism over the US-China trade talks.

US President Donald Trump on Friday said he had not agreed to roll back any import tariffs as part of a partial trade deal the two sides are negotiating.

Mr Trump's remarks appeared to push back against Beijing's claims that the two sides had agreed to remove tariffs in stages as part of an interim deal announced last month.

Following the comments, however, all three indices in the US market ended up on Friday.

Hopes for progress in defusing trade tensions have driven global stocks higher this month, since an agreement would remove a major source of uncertainty in the world economy that is undercutting growth.

"On the backdrop of some progress in the US-China trade talks, optimism over the global economy is growing," Shuji Hosoi, a senior strategist at Daiwa Securities based in Tokyo, said in a commentary.

This week, investors are closely watching a series of Chinese economic data due on Thursday - as well as Japan's industrial machine orders on Tuesday - for clues on the prospects for the global economy, he added.

In Asia afternoon trade the dollar fetched 109.06 yen, down from 109.21 yen in New York on Friday.

Among major shares in Tokyo, SoftBank Group dropped 1.01 per cent to 4,300 yen while Uniqlo-operator Fast Retailing lost 0.86 per cent to 67,580 yen.

Nissan, which will announce its half-year earnings on Tuesday, fell 0.36 per cent to 707.4 yen, but rival Toyota rose 0.30 per cent to 7,929 yen.

Honda rallied 4.19 per cent to 3,201 yen as its better-than-expected quarterly profit and a share buyback announced Friday outweighed the negative impact of a forecast cut.

AFP

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