* Nikkei loses steam after rallying to 17-mth highs on
* Index still seen well positioned to top 20,000 threshold
* Sony shares extend gains, hits highest since September
By Shinichi Saoshiro
TOKYO, May 9 Japanese equities dipped on Tuesday
as the market ran out of puff after rallying to a 17-month high
the previous day, though it was supported well by a confluence
of factors like the significantly weaker yen.
The Nikkei share average edged down 0.1 percent to
19,875.89. The index remained in reach of 19,929.48, its highest
level since December 2015 reached on Monday when Emmanuel Macron
was elected president of France, improving investor risk
In addition to support from an ebb in geopolitical concerns,
the Nikkei was seen to be well placed to eventually top the
20,000 threshold thanks to both fundamental and microeconomic
"The dollar is firmly above 113 yen now, providing a
significant tailwind to equities," said Masahiro Ichikawa,
senior strategist at Sumitomo Mitsui Asset Management.
"The environment surrounding the broader equity market is
also improving. Many corporations had previously set their
dollar/yen exchange rate assumptions around 105-110 yen, and we
can now expect many of them to revise up their earnings
forecasts as the yen as depreciated."
Sony Corp shares gained as much as 2.2 percent to
reach their highest level since September 2008. Already on a
bullish footing after last week's upbeat earnings report, the
electronics maker added to gains after a report that it was
relaunching organic light-emitting diode (OLED) TVs.
Showa Shell added 2.6 percent and Idemitsu Kosan
advanced 1.2 percent after the refiners announced they
will hold a news conference later on Tuesday regarding their
joint business. Opposition from Idemitsu's founding family had
delayed a merger between the two rivals initially planned for
Shares of Don Quijote Holdings Co gained as much as
4.9 percent after the discount store operator revised up its net
profit forecast to 31.5 billion yen ($278.22 million) for the
year through June 2017 from 27.5 billion yen. The company
expects to book a special profit from fixed asset sales.
Insecticide maker Earth Chemical slumped more than
6 percent after the company announced that its net profit for
the first quarter fell 4.2 percent to 2.04 billion yen, with
expenses offsetting brisk product sales.
The broader Topix shed 0.2 percent to 1,582.82 and
the JPX-Nikkei Index 400 fell 0.25 percent to
Of Tokyo's 33 sub-indexes, 20 were in the red.
($1 = 113.2200 yen)
(Reporting by Shinichi Saoshiro; Editing by Eric Meijer)