* Securities, banking 2 worst performers on board
* Yamato soars after report workers union protest
By Ayai Tomisawa
TOKYO, Feb 23 Japan's Nikkei share average fell
on Thursday morning as financial stocks weakened after U.S.
yields fell on the cautious tone struck in minutes of the latest
Federal Reserve monetary policy meeting.
The Nikkei dropped 0.5 percent to 19,290.02 in
The securities sector and banking sector
fell 1.6 percent and 1.5 percent, respectively, being
the two worst performers on the board.
U.S. 10-year yields fell as low as 2.391 percent, their
lowest level since Feb. 9.
According to the minutes released on Wednesday, many Fed
policymakers said it may be appropriate to raise rates again
"fairly soon" should jobs and inflation data come in line with
expectations. That cautious tone regarding raising interest
rates prompted a fall in U.S. yields.
"Cyclical stocks are sensitive to currency moves and yield
levels so investors would avoid them when they are cautious
about global events," said Nobuhiko Kuramochi, a strategist at
Nomura Securities dropped 2.1 percent, Mitsubishi
UFJ Financial Group shed 1.2 percent.
Exporters lost ground, with Toyota Motor Corp
falling 0.3 percent and Honda Motor Co down 1.5
The U.S. currency fell to a low of 112.905 yen
overnight in a knee-jerk reaction to the Fed meeting minutes but
had pulled back to 113.28 early on Thursday.
Meanwhile, transport services company Yamato Holdings
jumped 7 pct after the Nikkei reported that the workers
union asked the company to restrict the number of delivery
packages due to a lack of drivers. It reported that to limit
parcel handling, Yamato will negotiate higher shipping costs for
internet sellers and other bulk-rate clients.
The broader Topix dropped 0.4 percent to 1,550.79
and the JPX-Nikkei Index 400 shed 0.4 percent to
(Editing by Simon Cameron-Moore)