TOKYO: Japanese shares fell on Wednesday as investors awaited U.S. consumer price data due later in the day, while department store operator J. Front Retailing led gains in its peers after posting positive earnings amid hopes of economic reopening.
The Nikkei average slipped 0.32% to close at 28,140.28, while the broader Topix lost 0.45% to 1,973.83.
As strong U.S. CPI data could raise bets of earlier-than-expected rate hikes by the Federal Reserve, investors rotated out of cyclical shares with global exposure to domestic demand-oriented shares that could benefit from economic reopenings.
Red-hot shippers fell 3.27%, while steelmakers lost 1.66%. Semi-conductor shares were also soft after U.S. peers slipped to 2-1/2-month lows, with Screen Holdings down 2.88% and Shin-etsu Chemical shedding 1.55%.
Film maker Toho gained 3.91% after reporting a jump in profits thanks to the reopening of cinema and box-office success of its animation film “Belle”.
Department store operator J. Front Retailing jumped 8.55% as it returned to net profit in the quarter to August after two quarters of losses.
Peers Isetan Mitsukoshi Holdings rose 3.62% and H2O Retailing gained 2.11%. Takashimaya also increased 1.3% even after it cut its annual outlook due to weak demand.
Shift jumped 9.98% after the software testing firm reported bumper earnings.
On the other hand, Nippon Paint tumbled 7.13% after it cut earnings guidance due to rising costs as well as slow sales to car makers, which are slashing production due to a chip shortage.