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Nikkei Slips from MultiDecade Highs on Vaccine Supply Concerns

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Japans benchmark Nikkei share average closed lower on Friday, retreating from a near 2912year high as risk sentiment soured after U.S. drugmaker Pfizer Inc said it had slashed the target for the rollout of its coronavirus vaccine.

The Nikkei share average fell 0.22 to 26,751.24, but posted its fifth consecutive weekly gain. In the previous session, the index settled near its highest since April 1991.

The broader Topix ended nearly flat at 1,775.94.

The market tracked the U.S. SP 500 index, which fell from alltime highs on Thursday, after Pfizer flagged challenges in supply chain for the raw materials used in its vaccine.

Expectations were high for the vaccine … But market losses are limited because the market still has hopes that governments in countries such as Japan, U.S and Europe will deliver largescale additional stimulus measures, said Hideyuki Ishiguro, senior strategist at Daiwa Securities.

Among individual decliners, Tokyo Electron dropped 3.12 on profittaking after the recent outperformance of tech stocks.

Exportoriented stocks were hurt by a stronger yen against the dollar. Fanuc fell 0.82, while Sony Corp lost more than 0.2 before closing nearly flat.

Autorelated shares advanced after local media reported that Japan may ban sales of new gasolineengine cars by the mid2030s, and that the government would hold talks next week to establish a carbon offset market for the industry.

These moves come after Prime Minister Yoshihide Sugas pledge for Japan to…

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