Tokyo stocks dropped for the first time in four sessions in directionless trading Tuesday after an overnight fall on Wall Street.
The Nikkei 225 average lost 20.51 points, or 0.09 percent, to end at 23,410.19 after advancing 76.30 points Monday.
The Topix, which covers all first-section issues on the Tokyo Stock Exchange, finished 1.30 points, or 0.08 percent, lower at 1,720.77 following an 8.71-point rise Monday.
Both indexes opened slightly lower, with investor sentiment dampened by drops in all three major U.S. market indicators, including the Dow Jones Industrial Average, on Monday due to a lack of new developments on the U.S.-China trade front, brokers said.
Amid a dearth of fresh trading incentives, the Nikkei fluctuated in negative territory for the majority of the morning, dragged down by drops in heavily weighted components, while the Topix moved around Monday’s closing level.
In the afternoon, both the Nikkei and Topix moved narrowly as investors waited for new trading incentives.
“Investors were reluctant to tilt their positions either way as they were unsure of how the U.S.-China trade negotiations will play out,” said Tomoaki Fujii, head of the investment research division at Akatsuki Securities Inc.
Meanwhile, Fujii warned that the Tokyo market may drop in the second half of the week due to concerns over the planned start of additional U.S. tariffs on Chinese goods on Sunday, if there is no further news on progress in the trade talks.
Falling issues slightly outnumbered rising ones 1,035 to 989 in the first section, while 133 issues were unchanged.
Volume dropped to 1.047 billion shares from 1.085 billion Monday .
Oil names, including JXTG and Idemitsu, fell, reflecting a drop in New York crude oil futures Monday.
Kansai Electric dropped 3.28 percent, falling for the first time in three sessions.
Clothing store chain Fast Retailing and technology investor Softbank Group, both heavily weighted Nikkei components, fared poorly as well.
On the other hand, job information provider Gakujo surged 20.88 percent, on the back of a better than expected operating profit projection for the year until October 2020.
Among other major winners were seafood company Nippon Suisan Kaisha and electronic parts producer Taiyo Yuden.