Nikkei slips back from three-week high

<p>The Nikkei has ended the week on a low.</p>

The Nikkei ended the week on a low today (April 4th) after slipping back 0.2 per cent to erase some of the gains piled up by the index in the last few days.

After gaining 1.5 per cent on Wednesday and a further 0.8 per cent yesterday, the Nikkei ended the week at 15,048.03.

The index was damaged by a heavy loss sustained by the share price of Softbank Corp, which fell by 2.4 per cent on the back of tech stocks in the US slipping. Netflix and Facebook were among the technology share prices across the Atlantic to be down for the day yesterday.

Technology stocks are being watched closely in the Far East as a result of the impending initial public offering of Chinese ecommerce retailer Alibaba, which is expected to float in the US later in the year.

Investors are now keenly awaiting the result of a meeting held at the Bank of Japan (BoJ), where future policy is to be debated.

US data

"It is natural to have a correction ahead of the US payroll data today and the BoJ's policy meeting," Yutaka Miura, senior technical analyst at Mizuho Securities, told Reuters.

"Given that the market is already expecting a strong payroll number, there's risk the world's share prices could succumb to profit-taking after the data."

Real estate was a strongly performing sector on the Nikkei today, as Tokyu Fudosan jumped up by three per cent and Mitsubishi Estate rose by 2.2 per cent, while there were also increases for financial companies and brokerages.

Norihiro Fujito, senior strategist at Mitsubishi UFJ Morgan Stanley Securities, stated that market players in Japan are expecting no easing from the BoJ at its meeting today.

He said: "The buying in these shares are driven by event-driven hedge funds making bets ahead of the BOJ meeting. I would say there is risk of a sharp reversal after the BOJ's meeting."

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