Nikkei drops on profit-taking; financials underperform

TOKYO, Feb 20 (Reuters) – Japan’s Nikkei share average dropped on Tuesday morning as investors wasted no time to lock in profits from the previous day’s rally, while such financial shares as banks and insurers underperformed.

The Nikkei dropped 1.4 percent to 21,831.66 in midmorning trade, after rising 2 percent on Monday.

The banking sector was the worst sectoral performer, tumbling 2 percent. The insurance sector was also weak, sliding 1.6 percent. Mitsubishi UFJ Financial Group declined 2.1 percent, Sumitomo Mitsui Financial Group shed 2.0 percent and T&D Holdings dropped 3.0 percent.

Analysts also said that falling U.S. futures had dampened sentiment. E-Mini futures for the S&P 500 slipped 0.4 percent in Asian trading. Dow Minis were dropped 0.5 percent.

Index-heavy stocks which rose on Monday lost ground. Fast Retailing fell 2.0 percent and Fanuc Corp stumbled 2.7 percent.

The broader Topix declined 1.1 percent to 1,756.46.

Editing by Simon Cameron-Moore

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