Shares in Japan's leading casual-wear retailer, Fast Retailing Co Ltd, rose slightly on Wednesday to halt a worrying four day slide that had seen its stock plunge more than 40 per cent.

The company, which owns the popular Uniqlo chain, saw its shares close 1.7 per cent higher at 7, 140 yen after reaching a high of 7,420 yen. The slide was sparked by a 34 per cent cut in its net profit forecast for the year.

Often referred to as Japan's version of US apparel chain Gap Inc, Fast Retailing last week slashed its net profit forecast to 45 billion yen ($343.3 million) for the year to August, down from 59.2 billion a year ago.

It added that December same-store sales fell 17 per cent from the same period last year.