Tokyo - Japan’s Topix index fell for a third day, paring its weekly advance, as positive US economic data increased speculation the Federal Reserve will start cutting stimulus next week.
A gauge tracking utilities lost 1.6 percent for the biggest drop among the 33 Topix industry groups.
Nippon Telegraph & Telephone Corp. slid 1.7 percent after the government said it plans to raise 153.3 billion yen ($1.5 billion) by selling shares in the company.
JVC Kenwood Corp. added 3.7 percent on a report the company will make automotive resin panels in China.
The Topix declined 0.3 percent to 1,238.88 at the close in Tokyo, after rising as much as 0.6 percent.
The measure increased 0.3 percent this week.
The Nikkei 225 Stock Average added 0.4 percent today to 15,403.11.
Data yesterday showed US retail sales rose more than forecast in November.
“US economic reports were good, adding to the view that the Fed will start tapering in December,” said Masaru Hamasaki, a senior strategist at Tokyo-based Sumitomo Mitsui Asset Management Co., which oversees about 11 trillion yen in assets.
“Stocks tend to be jumpy when monetary policy changes, especially when it tightens.”
Losses in shares were limited as the yen touched 103.92, the weakest since October 2008.
Cutting US stimulus can have mixed effects on Japanese stocks.
It will reduce demand for risk assets globally, while causing the dollar to rise versus the yen, boosting the earnings outlook for exporters.
“The yen fell amid the view good economic data will push up US yields,” Hamasaki said.
“It’s tricky to judge which way Japanese stocks will go and that’s why they were fluctuating.” - Bloomberg News