Japanese stocks fell slightly Monday as the market took a breather from last week's gains in the wake of a fall on Wall Street. The dollar rose against the yen.
The benchmark Nikkei 225 stock index fell 12.07 points, or 0.07 percent, to finish at 17,092.89 points on the Tokyo Stock Exchange.
Monday's retreat came after the index added 57.13 points to finish 0.34 percent higher at 17,104.96 points last Friday _ its highest close since May 9.
Market sentiment was cautious Monday ahead of some economic indicators due this week, such as November household spending Tuesday, as players want to confirm if the data is likely to discourage Bank of Japan from hiking interest rates next month.
Housing stocks and Internet services-related companies fell, with Sekisui House Ltd. posting a 1.64 percent drop to 1,682 yen (US$14.13). Softbank Corp. shed 2.36 percent to 2,385 yen (US$20.04).
Meanwhile, shares of Victor Co. of Japan and Kenwood Co. jumped following media reports over the weekend Matsushita Electric Industrial may sell struggling Victor shares to Kenwood. Victor rose 3.40 percent to 608 yen (US$5.11), Kenwood added 3.41 percent to 212 yen (US$1.78) and Matsushita Electric rose 1.07 percent to 2,360 yen (US$19.83).
On Wall Street Friday, stocks slid after waning enthusiasm among investors ahead of the holiday weekend overshadowed data showing higher consumer spending and a jump in sales of big-ticket goods in November. The Dow Jones industrial average fell 78.03, or 0.63 percent, to 12,343.22.
Tokyo's broader Topix index, which includes all share on the exchange's first section, fell 7.23 points, or 0.43 percent, to 1,664.87 points Monday.
In currencies, the dollar was trading at 118.87 yen on the Tokyo foreign exchange market at 3 p.m. (0600 GMT) Monday, up from 118.76 yen late Friday in New York. The euro fell to US$1.3114, from $1.3145.
The 10-year Japanese government bond was unchanged from Friday's finish at 1.5900 percent at a price of 100.94.