Friday, February 15 07:28:55
Japan's Nikkei share average fell today as investors pared exposure to exporters and banks while awaiting the weekend G20 meeting.
A deepening recession in the euro zone also dragged down shares, and sentiment deteriorated in late trade on news that a conservative, former finance ministry bureaucrat is the leading candidate to head the Japanese central bank.
The Nikkei closed down 1.2 percent at 11,173.83 after falling as much as 2.1 percent.
For the week, the Nikkei avoided a second straight weekly loss, squeezing out an 0.2 percent gain. Last week's drop snapped a 12-week winning streak, its longest since 1959.
Finance officials from G20 nations gathered in Moscow, where they are expected to discuss Japanese economic policies that have contributed to the yen's sharp decline against the dollar since mid-November. The Nikkei has added about 30 percent over the period.
"Investors who were waiting to take profits or shorting were active today," said Hiroyuki Fukunaga, chief executive of Investrust. "Now that most earnings are out and the yen's weakness has steadied, it's the best timing for them to take selling positions." ( C) Reuters