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Japan Shares Slip as Investors Take Breather on Recent Rally

TOKYO, Sept 16 (Reuters) - Japanese shares erased early gains on Thursday, as investors took a breather after a rally led by hopes of a new political leadership, while energy stocks tracked overnight gains in U.S. peers.

The Nikkei share average fell 0.47% to 30,367.83 by 0224 GMT, while the broader Topix was down 0.46% to 2,086.76.

“Domestic political developments have lifted Japanese stocks but that momentum is taking a pause after Japanese stocks outperformed the U.S. in recent gains,” said Takatoshi Itoshima, strategist at Pictet Asset Management.

“But investors tend to buy on dips in recent days, which shows their sentiment is positive.”

Shares that would benefit from domestic demand led losses, with the miscellaneous products index dropping 1.51%, followed by information and technology firms and the brokerages falling 1.41% and 1.36%, respectively.

The miscellaneous index includes game maker Nintendo , which fell 2.65% and sporting good maker Asics , down 6.28%.

Technology heavyweights were the biggest drag on the Nikkei, with Tokyo Electron falling 2.85%, SoftBank Group losing 2.44% and Advantest slipping 3.41%.

On the other hand, energy shares tracked overnight gains in U.S. peers on higher crude prices. Refiners rose 1.99% and oil explorers rose 1.31%.

Toho Zinc Co was the top gainer in the index, rising 5.75%, followed by Fujikura, gaining 4.68% and Idemitsu Kosan, up 3.19%.

Hitachi Zosen, down 4.09%, was the top loser in the Nikkei, followed by Screen Holdings, losing 3.9% and CyberAgent, falling 3.54%.

The Mothers Index of start-up firms lost 4.24%.

(Reporting by Junko Fujita; Editing by Rashmi Aich)

Source: Reuters

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