Wires

REFILE-Nikkei down, investors still wary over U.S.-China trade

Tomo Uetake

(Corrects typographical error in headline.)

TOKYO, Nov 29 (Reuters) - Japanese shares declined on Friday amid lingering worries U.S. legislation backing Hong Kong protesters could derail a prospective U.S.-China trade deal, though they managed a third consecutive month of gains.

The benchmark Nikkei average dropped 0.5% to 23,293.91 but were up 1.6% for the month. For the week, it eked out a 0.8% gain, to mark its first weekly rise in three weeks.

U.S. S&P 500 mini futures were last down 0.3%. New York markets were shut on Thursday for Thanksgiving holiday and many investors kept to the sidelines on Friday, waiting to see how U.S. markets perceive the latest clash between Washington and Beijing over Hong Kong.

China warned the United States on Thursday it would take "firm counter measures" in response to U.S. legislation backing anti-government protesters in Hong Kong.

Slides in Hong Kong and mainland Chinese shares soured investor sentiment in the afternoon session, analysts said. The Hang Seng index was last down 2.0%.

"The question is what real actions Beijing will take. The working assumption for most investors is that this will not derail the trade talks, given China is suffering from an economic slowdown," said Norihiro Fujito, chief investment strategist at Mitsubishi UFJ Morgan Stanley Securities.

The broader Topix slipped 0.5% to 1,699.36, with all but three of its 33 subsectors finishing in negative territory.

Restaurant search website operators Kakaku.com Inc slid 3.2% and Gurunavi Inc slumped 3.9% after media reported that Japan's antitrust watchdog has been investigating major restaurant finders over alleged unfair booking practices.

On a positive note, the dollar last traded at 109.48 versus the yen, not far from its six-month peak of 109.61 marked on Wednesday, and provided some support to export-oriented firms as a softer yen boosts overseas profits when repatriated.

Struggling industrial conglomerate Toshiba Corp jumped 3.0%, while Sony Corp hit its 12-1/2-year intra-day peak before ending the session 0.1% higher.

Panasonic Corp advanced 2.3% after the electronics giant said it would sell its loss-making semiconductor unit to Taiwan's Nuvoton Technology Corp for $250 million. (Additional reporting by Hideyuki Sano; Editing by Simon Cameron-Moore)