* Non-life insurers underperform on worries about falling
* NTT climbs on share buyback plan
By Ayai Tomisawa
TOKYO, Dec 13 Japan's Nikkei share average fell
on Tuesday in choppy trade, snapping a five-day winning streak
as investors waited for a U.S. Federal Reserve's meeting to
start later in the day.
The Nikkei dropped 0.1 percent to 19,134.73 in
mid-morning trade, after briefly touching positive territory
when the dollar rose above 115.20 yen.
The benchmark index had risen for five straight days until
Monday, supported by a strong performance on Wall Street and a
The Fed is widely expected to hike interest rates for the
first time in 2016 at its two-day meeting, with markets pricing
in a nearly 100 percent chance of a quarter percentage point
increase to the Fed's target range of 0.25 to 0.50 percent.
"The market has already priced in a rate hike and some are
ready to take profits after confirming the result," said Masashi
Oda, general manager of strategic investment department at
Sumitomo Mitsui Trust Asset Management.
He added that after the Nikkei has risen sharply since the
U.S. presidential election last month, the market needs fresh
catalysts to rise further.
The insurance sector underperformed, down 1.3
percent, and was the second worst performer on the board after
the Nikkei newspaper reported that a reference rate that helps
determine premiums for optional auto insurance in Japan could
decrease by as much as 10 percent in 2018.
Tokio Marine Holdings dropped 2.1 percent and MS&AD
Insurance slipped 0.7 percent.
Exporters were mixed, with Honda Motor Co shedding
0.5 percent, Nissan Motor Co adding 0.2 percent and
Panasonic Corp dropping 0.3 percent.
Outperforming the market was Nippon Telegraph & Telephone
Corp, surging 3.5 percent, after the company said it
would buy back up to 1.62 pct of own shares worth 150 billion
yen ($1.30 billion).
The broader Topix was flat at 1,531.34 and the
JPX-Nikkei Index 400 was also steady at 13,708.36.
(Reporting by Ayai Tomisawa; Editing by Joseph Radford)