TOKYO May 19 Japan's Nikkei share average
dipped on Friday with investors unsettled by White House
turmoil, although Takata Corp shares rose after four carmakers
settled claims over the company's airbag inflators.
The Nikkei was down 0.25 percent at 19,507.52.
The index had scaled a 17-month high on Tuesday but it was
on track to lose 1.8 percent in tumultuous week in which
uncertainty over U.S. President Donald Trump's political
prospects hit risk sentiment globally.
"When the United States is involved, it is simply not just
geopolitical risk as the Trump presidency had come with hopes
for stimulus attached," said Soichiro Monji, chief strategist at
Daiwa SB Investments.
"As for the Japanese market, any impasse in U.S. policies
would be negative. But there could be positive aspects, such as
trade negotiations with Japan taking a back seat."
The prospect of Trump potentially taking a tough trade
stance against Japan was a big worry for local investors.
Takata Corp rose 20 percent after four automakers
including Toyota Motor Corp agreed to a $553 million
settlement to address claims covering owners of nearly 16
million recalled vehicles with potentially defective Takata
Biofuel developer Euglena Co rose as much as 10.7
percent after the Nikkei newspaper reported that Euglena was
arranging equity tie-ups with five companies to speed up efforts
to commercialise jet fuel produced from microalgae.
Totenko Co and K.K. Seiyoken gained 4.9
percent at 7.1 percent, respectively, after reports that a giant
panda at Tokyo's Ueno Zoo had shown signs of pregnancy.
The animal is a crowd favourite and a birth of a baby panda
is expected to boost business for the two companies, which
operate restaurants around the zoo.
The broader Topix slipped 0.15 percent to 1,552.87
and the JPX-Nikkei Index 400 was down 0.1 percent at
(Reporting by Shinichi Saoshiro; Editing by Eric Meijer)