Nikkei falls 1.8 pct, chip-related shares falter

* Talk of possible long liquidation in Nikkei futures

* Chip-related shares and other techs falter

* But Ricoh bucks trend and surges after hiking estimate

* Nikkei dips back below its 25-day moving average

By Masayuki Kitano

TOKYO, April 22 (BestGrowthStock) – Japan’s Nikkei average fell 1.8
percent on Thursday to give back gains made the previous day,
with some market participants saying that a weaker futures market
had prompted trimming of long positions.

Chip shares retreated from higher ground reached the previous
day on Apple’s results but printer and copier maker Ricoh Co Ltd
(7752.T: ) surged after saying its operating profit for the the
last financial year would be 44 percent larger than previously
forecast on cost cuts and recovering demand. [ID:nTOE63K07A]

Despite climbing 1.7 percent on Wednesday for its biggest
one-day percentage gain in more than a month, market players had
been unconvinced that the Nikkei’s pullback that began in early
April was over.

A lower finish for Nikkei futures in Chicago (2NKc1: ) compared
to their Osaka close (JNIc1: ) likely provided impetus for
short-term speculators to cut some of their long positions,
market players said.

“There was talk of active buying in Nikkei futures the
previous day, and there is the possibility that such positions
are being dumped,” said Nagayuki Yamagishi, investment strategist
at Mitsubishi UFJ Securities.

While concerns over Greece’s fiscal woes continue to simmer,
the fundamental backdrop for Japanese equities has not changed,
he added.

“It is not as if the yen is rising that much, and if you ask
how corporate earnings are doing, they have been on the positive
side,” Yamagishi said.

The benchmark Nikkei (.N225: ) fell 204.29 points to 10,885.76,
falling back below its 25-day moving average, now near 11,070.

The 25-day average is a popular technical indicator among
Japanese equities investors, and a clear break below the line is
often regarded as a sign that the market may have more room to
fall.

Support lies near 10,800, roughly the 38.2 percent
retracement of the Nikkei’s two-month rally from its early
February trough to an 18-month peak struck in early April of
11,408.17

The broader Topix index slipped 1.6 percent to 971.75
(.TOPX: ).

Among gainers, Ricoh climbed 3.5 percent to 1,555 yen.

Shares in Daiwabo Holdings Co (3107.T: ) jumped 12 percent to
224 yen after the company nearly doubled its operating profit
estimate for the year ended March 31 to 4.75 billion yen on
stronger-than-expected PC sales.

Toshiba Corp (6502.T: ), the supplier of NAND-type flash memory
chips for Apple’s iPhone, fell 1.1 percent to 521 yen, giving
back some of the gains made on Wednesday after Apple’s results
beat expectations.

Money

(Additional reporting by Elaine Lies; Editing by Edwina Gibbs)

Nikkei falls 1.8 pct, chip-related shares falter