TOKYO, Nov. 25 (Xinhua) -- Japan's benchmark Nikkei stock index ended lower on Friday as investors opted to secure profits following recent gains, but the market's downside was capped by hopes the pace of interest rate hikes will slow globally.
The 225-issue Nikkei Stock Average lost 100.06 points, or 0.35 percent, from Thursday to close the day at 28,283.03.
The broader Topix index, meanwhile, shed 0.80 point, or 0.04 percent, to finish at 2,018.00.
Dealers here said that following Nikkei's gains over the past three sessions, investors opted to lock in gains by selling heavily-weighted chip-linked issues among others.
They added, however, that overall declines were capped by hopes the European Central Bank (ECB) may slow the pace of its interest rate hikes, following hints garnered from its policy-setting meeting minutes.
The release of the ECB's minutes, follows the U.S. Federal Reserve's latest meeting minutes also hinting the central bank may slow the pace of its interest rate hikes henceforth.
"Investors sold shares for profit-taking today. That was seen in chip-related stocks, which were strong in the past few sessions," Shuji Hosoi, senior strategist at Daiwa Securities, was quoted as saying.
"Overall the market was supported by hopes for slower hikes of the ECB, which sent the Germany's 10-year bond yields lower," Hosoi said.
On the Prime Market, rubber product, electric appliance, and precision instrument issues comprised those that declined the most.
Semiconductor-related issues sold for profits included heavyweights Tokyo Electron and Advantest, who dropped 0.8 and 1.0 percent, respectively.
Dentsu Group retreated 2.7 percent, following the head office of the advertising giant being raided by Tokyo prosecutors and Japan's Fair Trade Commission over possible bid rigging connected to the Tokyo Olympic Games held last year.
Some firms with a sizable footprint in overseas markets lost ground, including tire maker Bridgestone who reversed 1.8 percent, cosmetic maker Shiseido who closed 1.6 percent lower, and industrial robot maker Fanuc who slipped 1.3 percent.
Bucking the downward trend, All Nippon Airways and Japan Railway both added 1.0 percent on hopes for increased patronage.
British-themed pub operator Hub. Co. extended gains, soaring 12.7 percent, on expectations for an uptick in business following Japan's shock win over Germany in their World Cup opening game.
The Hub branches are broadcasting the Qatar-hosted World Cup soccer tournament games.
Issues that rose outpaced those that fell by 1,019 to 728, while 89 ended the day unchanged.
On the Prime Market on Friday, 999.15 million shares changed hands, dropping from Thursday's volume of 1,311.10 million shares.
The turnover on the final trading day of the week came to 2,375.30 billion yen (17.03 billion U.S. dollars). ■