Nikkei snaps 4 days of gains on US data, losses curbed by trade talks
* Nikkei rises 2.5 pct for the week
* Financials pull back from recent gains
By Ayai Tomisawa
TOKYO, Feb 22 (Reuters) - Japan's Nikkei snapped four
straight days of gains on Friday as weak U.S. economic data
dampened sentiment, though the selling was contained by more
signs of progress in U.S.-China trade talks.
The Nikkei share average dropped 0.2 percent to
21,425.51, while it posted a 2.5 percent gain for the week.
The U.S. Commerce Department said new orders for key
U.S.-made capital goods unexpectedly fell in December.
The Philadelphia Federal Reserve's gauge of U.S.
Mid-Atlantic business activity also declined in February to its
weakest since May 2016, while another report showed U.S.
existing home sales dropped last month to the lowest since
"Weak U.S. economic indicators are worrying the market, but
hopes for more progress in U.S.-China trade talks are supporting
the mood," said Shoji Hirakawa, chief global strategist at Tokai
Tokyo Research Institute.
Hirakawa said that since the Nikkei breached an immediate
resistance level of 21,500 on Thursday, investors are looking
out for the next resistance level at 21,800.
Focus in global markets is also squarely on high-level talks
between U.S. and Chinese trade negotiators in Washington, with
little more than a week left before a U.S.-imposed deadline for
an agreement expires, which would trigger higher tariffs.
Reuters reported exclusively on Wednesday that the two sides
were drafting language for six memorandums of understanding on
proposed Chinese reforms, progress that had helped to lift
Friday's losers included financial stocks such as banks and
brokers, which gained recently. Mitsubishi UFJ Financial Group
dropped 1.2 percent and Sumitomo Mitsui Financial Group
shed 0.8 percent, while Nomura Holdings fell
Exporters were mixed, with Toyota Motor Corp
shedding 0.2 percent, Honda Motor Co rising 0.7 percent
and Hitachi Ltd declining 0.8 percent.
The broader Topix declined 0.3 percent to 1,609.52.
Declining issues outnumbered advancing ones 1,288 to 731.
(Editing by Jacqueline Wong)
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