Nikkei dips but stimulus, vaccine hopes lift Tokyo shares

·2 min read

TOKYO, Dec 2 (Reuters) - Japan's Nikkei average on Wednesday dipped on profit-taking, though the Tokyo stock market was supported by investor hopes for additional stimulus and economic boosts from expected coronavirus vaccine rollouts.

Nikkei share average dipped 0.1% to 26,756.37 after touching a 29-1/2-year high earlier in the session.

The broader Topix rose 0.25% to 1,772.87 with about 55% of shares on the main board making gains and another 5% holding flat.

"With the Nikkei so close to the 27,000, investors are getting a bit cautious. We've priced in a lot of good news. But I don't think the market will fall that much either," said Naoya Oshikubo, senior economist at Sumitomo Mitsui Trust Asset Management.

The gains in Topix came as U.S. politicians put forth a flurry of proposals on coronavirus relief packages after a month-long partisan standoff.

Hopes that vaccines can reduce the need for strict social restrictions next year also underpinned the market, especially value shares.

Honda Motor rose 4.0% while Takeda Pharmaceutical added 2.8% and retailer Seven&i Holdings climbed 2.8%.

Topix value rose 0.89%, outperforming 0.25% gains in growth shares.

The Nikkei was pressured by a 3.4% drop in Recruit Holdings , which said its shareholders will sell 416.8 billion yen ($4 billion) worth of shares in the company to overseas investors.

Some other large-cap growth shares were bruised by profit-taking, with Sony shedding 1.9% and Hoya losing 1.9%.

Ito en lost 3.8% after the beverage firm cut its annual net profit outlook by more than a half.

Nishimatsuya Chain dropped 3.2% after the retailer of kids clothes' earnings upgrade prompted profit-taking from the shares' 60% gains so far this year.

Workman fell 5.5% after the clothing retailer's November sales grew 8.6% but came in short of market expectations.

(Reporting by Hideyuki Sano, Editing by Sherry Jacob-Phillips)