TOKYO Dec 5 Japan's Nikkei share average fell
on Monday after Italian Prime Minister Matteo Renzi's defeat in
a constitutional reform referendum gave investors an opportunity
to sell into a market that had rallied to 11-month highs late
The Nikkei was down 0.5 percent at 18,327.60 after
losing as much as 0.75 percent earlier in the session. The index
had risen to 18,746.28 on Thursday, its highest since early
January, on relief that OPEC agreed to cut output and as the yen
"The yen's rebound last weekend had already put stocks on
the defensive, and Italy's referendum provided participants to
take profits on a market that rallied last week," said Norihiro
Fujito, senior investment strategist at Mitsubishi UFJ Morgan
Italy's Renzi vowed to resign following Sunday's stinging
referendum defeat, leading to fears over the stability of the
country's shaky banking system and more broadly the future of
the European Union.
"The referendum result will have repercussions beyond Italy.
But for now we have to see how the European and North American
markets react to the vote outcome to get a clearer picture,"
Fujito said, explaining why the Nikkei's losses were relatively
The banking sub-sector index underperformed to
lose 1.9 percent amid concerns over the referendum's effect on
Italy's banking system.
Mitsubishi UFJ Financial Group lost 2.5 percent,
Sumitomo Mitsui Financial Group fell 1.8 percent and
Mizuho Financial Group shed 1.4 percent.
Exporters were also on the defensive as the yen was off the
previous week's lows, with Toyota Motor Corp off 0.6
percent and Bridgestone Corp down 1.5 percent.
Toshiba Corp was up 1.8 percent, extending gains to
reach a 17-month high. It has risen steadily for nearly the past
month after the conglomerate swung to an operating profit in the
July-September quarter, driven by strong demand for NAND flash
Via Holdings Inc rose as much as 13.8 percent after
the restaurant franchise operator said it will be listed on the
Tokyo Stock Exchange (TSE) first section from JASDAQ effective
The broader Topix dropped 0.7 percent to 1,468.18
and the JPX-Nikkei Index 400 was also down 0.7
percent, at 13,170.27.
(Reporting by Shinich Saoshiro; Editing by Eric Meijer)