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Foreign investors' fresh interest in Japan stocks undeterred by dip

Optimism limits decline on profit-taking for now, but long-term outlook still unclear

Japan Exchange Group's push for corporate governance reform has spurred foreign investors to take another look at Japanese stocks. (Photo by Kosuke Imamura)

TOKYO -- The Nikkei Stock Average's first fall in nine trading days does not appear to signal any dimming of interest from the foreign investors who have driven the recent Japanese rally, but questions remain about how long a boom driven by hopes for change will last.

Tuesday's 129-point drop appears to have been driven by profit-taking, touched off by word of a government decision on technology export curbs that hit semiconductor stocks. A morning rally lifted the benchmark index nearly 270 points beyond Monday's close to above 31,300. But it slumped in the afternoon, at one point slipping more than 250 points below Monday's close.

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