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TOKYO: Japan’s Nikkei share average fell for a second session on Wednesday, as traders locked in profits following the index’s recent surge to an all-time high, while the overnight drop in the tech-heavy Nasdaq also weighed.

Stocks were under pressure from overnight technology-led slump on Wall Street, and both precision machinery and electric machinery were among the bottom three performers from the Tokyo Stock Exchange’s 33 industry groups.

The Nikkei slipped 0.2% to 40,017.31, with chip-related shares of Renesas, Lasertec and Sumco - the three biggest percentage decliners - losing more than 3% each.

By contrast, the broader Topix rose 0.14%, with a sub-index of value shares gaining 0.45%, while growth shares fell 0.17%. Overnight, all of the big three US equity indexes slumped more than 1% each, with the tech-heavy Nasdaq falling the most.

The Philadelphia SE Semiconductor Index dropped more than 2%.

The Nikkei was still up nearly 20% in 2024, powered majorly by tech shares amid the global euphoria over artificial intelligence (AI).

A weakening yen, down about 6% this year, has also made Japanese stocks more attractive to the foreign funds that have mainly driven the rally.

“After realizing such a steep rally since the start of the year, if seems like we’ve now entered a period of speed adjustment,” which is likely to last until the Bank of Japan and Federal Reserve policy meetings the week after next, said Kazuo Kamitani, an equity strategist at Nomura Securities.

Japan’s Nikkei slips from record peak as chip-related shares dip

“Until then, the market will be sounding out a floor,” and as long as the Nikkei doesn’t fall far below 39,000, “it’ll be an indication of an extremely strong market,” he said.

Among other notable decliners on Wednesday, AI-focused startup investor SoftBank Group dropped 1.42%, and Uniqlo store operator Fast Retailing lost more than 1% to be the Nikkei’s biggest drags in terms of index points.

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