The Nikkei share average shed 0.44%, while the broader Topix dropped 0.2%
Japanese shares on Friday retreated from a near 29-1/2-year high, as risk sentiment soured following a report that U.S. drugmaker Pfizer Inc slashed the target for the rollout of its coronavirus vaccine.
The benchmark Nikkei share average lost 0.44% to 26,690.47 by the midday break, but was poised for its fifth consecutive weekly gain. In the previous session, the index settled near its highest since April 1991.
The broader Topix fell 0.2% to 1,771.63.
The market tracked overnight weak performance on Wall Street’s S&P 500 index, which fell from all-time highs, after Pfizer flagged challenges in supply chain for the raw materials used in its vaccine.
A stronger yen, last trading at 103.86 per dollar, also provided headwind for export-oriented stocks. Fanuc fell 1.1%, while Sony Corp edged 0.23% lower.
But market losses were limited by hopes that governments at home and abroad will deliver more economic stimulus, analysts said.
Some auto-related shares advanced after local media reported that Japan may ban sales of new gasoline-engine cars by the mid-2030s, and that the government would hold talks next week to establish a carbon offset market for the industry.
These moves come after Prime Minister Yoshihide Suga’s pledge for Japan to slash carbon emissions to zero on a net basis by 2050.
Denso Corp jumped more than 6.3%, while Nissan Motor and Toyota Motor Corp added 0.74% and 0.54%, respectively.
Battery-related shares followed suit, with Furukawa Battery spiking 9% and FDK Corp edging up 0.61%.
Toshiba Corp jumped 3.47% on a report that Kioxia, previously known as Toshiba Memory, received permission from the U.S. authorities to export some products to Huawei Technologies.
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