TOKYO: Japan's Nikkei share average fell to a two-week low on Wednesday, with all sectors in negative territory as investors took profits following a two-month rally that pushed up the market by about 20 percent.
The Nikkei ended 1.6 percent lower at 22,028.32, its lowest close since Oct. 31.
Traders said foreign investors were taking profits from the two-month rally, in which they bought a total of 5.4 trillion yen ($47.7 billion) in Japanese cash stocks and futures.
Retail investors have also been sellers. Japanese mutual funds posted record monthly net inflows in October as retail investors poured into money reserve funds after locking in profits from rising domestic stocks and equity funds, the Investment Trusts Association said. Overall mutual funds, or investment trust funds, posted a record net inflow of 13.17 trillion yen ($116.4 billion) in October.
Declines were seen across the board on Wednesday, with the biggest losers including mining stocks, steelmakers and real estate firms, as well as automakers.
Inpex Corp stumbled 3.7 percent, Nippon Steel & Sumitomo Metal Corp declined 3.3 percent, Mitsui Fudosan Co dived 3.6 percent, while Toyota Motor Corp and Honda Motor Co both fell 2.4 percent.
The broader Topix dropped 2.0 percent to 1,744.01,
with all of its 33 subsectors in negative territory.
($1 = 113.1700 yen)