TOKYO: Japan's Nikkei share average rose on Wednesday, extending its rally to a fourth session, although gains were subdued following a surge above the crucial 27,000 level in the previous session.
Automotive battery component supplier Dai Nippon Printing soared 13% to top the leader board, following media reports that activist investor Elliott Management had taken a large stake.
Suzuki Motor was another big gainer, after its India unit Maruti Suzuki's quarterly profit more than doubled.
At the bottom was motor maker Nidec, which tumbled after almost halving its forecast profit in an inauspicious start to Japan's earnings season.
The Nikkei ended the day up 0.35% at 27,395.01. It started strong after the lunch break, touching a fresh five-week high at 27,473.90, but couldn't sustain the momentum.
The stock benchmark had rallied 2.8% over the previous two sessions, punching through 27,000 after spending most of last month fluctuating around the 26,000 mark.
The broader Topix added 0.39% on Wednesday to 1,980.69.
"To be honest, I hadn't expected the Nikkei to top 27,000 yesterday," Kazuo Kamitani, an equity strategist at Nomura, said in a conference call with journalists.
"These last three days, the Nikkei has risen quite a lot, so there is a feeling it might be a bit overheated," he added.
Of the Nikkei's 225 components, 175 rose, 45 fell and five were flat.
Dai Nippon Printing jumped 14.81%, also lifting peer Toppan , which advanced 4.57% to be the Nikkei's third best performer.
Suzuki was no. 2, with a 5.62% gain.
By contrast, Nidec tumbled 5.38%, making it the Nikkei's worst performer by a large margin.
Nomura, however, kept its "buy" rating on the stock.
"One-time costs (were) higher than expected, but no changes to profit outlook for 24/3 onwards," senior equity research analyst Manabu Akizuki wrote in a report.
Semiconductor-related shares also did poorly on the day, with chip-testing-equipment maker Advantest sliding 1.11% and chip-making equipment giant Tokyo Electron losing 0.26%. - Reuters