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Tokyo's Nikkei down at break as early rally fizzles

Tokyo stocks finished the morning lower on Thursday, reversing earlier gains that were fuelled by a weaker yen as the US Federal Reserve hiked interest rates and indicated more to come next year.

The dollar surged to fresh 10-month highs against the yen -- boosting Japanese exporters -- after the Federal Reserve lifted interest rates for only the second time in a decade.

The bank's policy committee also indicated three more hikes could come next year, surprising traders who had been preparing for two.

While Tokyo stocks opened higher on the weak yen they soon lost steam on profit-taking, having risen for eight successive days.

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The benchmark Nikkei 225, which closed at a one-year high Wednesday, dipped 0.15 percent, or 28.37 points, to 19,225.24 by the break.

The Topix index of all first-section issues was marginally higher, adding 0.30 points to 1,538.99.

"Gains narrowed after a round of buying as more and more (investors) wanted to see how the US market will fare tonight to confirm it had fully digested the (Fed) outcome," Yoshihiro Ito, chief strategist at Okasan Online Securities, said in a commentary.

The widely expected Fed move put the brakes on the Dow's march towards the 20,000-point landmark. The blue-chip index fell 0.6 percent after a seven-day streak of record closes.

In Tokyo, financial stocks turned down with Mizuho Financial Group falling 0.27 percent to 219.5 yen and Nomura 0.65 percent off at 1,965 yen.

But Hitachi rose 0.69 percent to 640.1 yen after the Nikkei business daily reported that Tokyo may arrange an aid package totalling one trillion yen ($8.5 billion) for a British nuclear power plant project led by the firm.

And Toyota added 1.28 percent to 7,121 yen while Sony eased 0.20 percent to 3,365 yen.

mis/kgo/dan