Tokyo stocks ended a choppy trading session lower on Monday ahead of three consecutive public holidays, as investors focused on an upcoming US Federal Reserve policy meeting.
The Nikkei 225 index zigzagged between positive and negative territory and closed down 0.11 percent or 29.37 points at 26,818.53, while the broader Topix index edged down 0.07 percent, or 1.27 points, to 1,898.35.
The dollar stood at 130.42 yen, off the day’s low of 129.63 yen seen in the morning and 129.86 yen on Friday in New York.
Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday are public holidays in Japan, and markets will be closed.
Investors refrained from making big moves, since they will not be able to react quickly to international events — particularly US ISM manufacturing data released later Monday, and a Fed meeting that ends on Wednesday.
Global investors are expecting that the US central bank will raise interest rates in an aggressive drive to tame inflation.
The Tokyo market opened higher, but share prices quickly faltered as investors locked in profits.
In the afternoon, bargain hunters lifted stocks to the positive region overall, then the Nikkei returned to losses shortly before the closing bell.
“The wait-and-see attitude strengthened ahead of a three-day break, during which the Federal Open Market Committee will meet,” Okasan Online Securities said.
Analysts sounded warnings that tough times may lie ahead, with US tech shares tanking last week particularly after disappointing results from Amazon and Apple.
“A global growth slowdown and rising inflation forcing (most) central banks to accelerate their policy normalisation process are not helping equity sentiment,” said Rodrigo Catril from National Australia Bank.
Nintendo dropped 2.35 percent to 58,500 yen and Sony Group fell 0.53 percent to 11,160 yen.
Advantest, a major producer of testing kits for semiconductors, plunged 4.78 percent to 8,560 yen.
Meanwhile, airline ANA Holdings jumped 2.67 percent to 2,519 yen, and Nippon Yusen KK, a major shipping firm, advanced 3.49 percent to 9,790 yen.