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Tokyo stocks shed 0.21% by midday, Nikkei 225 tumbles 40.20pts

Tokyo stocks shed 0.21% by midday, Nikkei 225 tumbles 40.20pts

TOKYO: Tokyo stocks slipped 0.21 percent on profit-taking Tuesday morning as Sharp tumbled in response to a report that the embattled electronics maker is seeking aid from its lenders and may close some money-losing units.

The Nikkei 225 index at the Tokyo Stock Exchange fell 40.20 points to 18,786.68 by the break, while the Topix index of all first-section issues also dropped 0.21 percent, or 3.13 points, to 1,521.84.

The benchmark index opened 0.44 percent higher on a weak yen and record-setting advances on Wall Street.

But it later retreated with the yen picking up and caution growing over a string of gains that have pushed it to 15-year highs.

“Half of the investors are waiting for a pullback to buy and the other half are just buying,” Andrew Clarke, director of trading at Hong Kong brokerage Mirabaud Asia, told Bloomberg News.

“The longer trend is up on earnings expectations, but in the near-term, because the market has done well, the expectation of some profit taking is normal and healthy.”

The dollar bought 119.72 yen in midday trade Tuesday, slipping from 120.17 yen in New York Monday afternoon.

A stronger yen is a negative to Japanese exporters as it makes them less competitive abroad and erodes repatriated profits.