U.S. Markets closed

Nikkei retreats from two-month high

Pedestrians stand in front of a stock quotation board displaying various stock prices outside a brokerage in Tokyo July 29, 2013. REUTERS/Yuya Shino/Files

TOKYO (Reuters) - Japan's Nikkei share average fell 0.2 percent on Friday, stepping back from two-month highs as investors locked in profits on recent gainers before a long weekend.

The benchmark Nikkei shed 23.76 points to 14,742.42, after rising to as high as 14,816.65, its highest intra-day level since July 23. For the week, the market rose 2.3 percent to log its third straight week of gains.

The broader Topix rose 0.3 percent to 1,218.98 in moderate trade, with 3.45 billion shares changing hands.

Recent gainers succumbed to profit-taking ahead of the long weekend, with the sea transport sector subindex shedding 2.1 percent - the worst sectoral performer. Japanese markets will shut on Monday for a national holiday.

(Reporting by Tomo Uetake; Editing by Shri Navaratnam)