TOKYO: Japanese shares struggled for direction on Wednesday, as a rally in chip and other tech-related stocks following a strong Wall Street session overnight offset weakness in Toyota and its group companies, and retailers including Uniqlo-owner Fast Retailing.
The Nikkei share average ended the morning session up 0.11%, while the broader Topix was unchanged.
"With few drivers to trade off, there's no real sense of direction to the market," said a market participant at a domestic securities firm.
Sharp and Sony were among the Nikkei's top percentage gainers, climbing 3.59% and 2.55% respectively.
Tokyo Electron was the biggest mover by index points, adding 0.69%, while fellow chipmaker Advantest advanced 1.12%. Startup investor SoftBank Group rose 0.87%.
Overnight, the US Nasdaq 100 rallied 2.29%, and the Philadelphia SE Semiconductor index jumped 3.35%.
The Nikkei's biggest mover was Shinsei Bank with a 7.17% gain after SBI Holdings, which recently completed a tender offer for Shinsei, said it's worth pursuing the option of taking it private.
At the other end, Toyota Motor was among the biggest decliners with a 1.62% drop as it fell further after last week's strong gains on beefed-up electric vehicle plans. Group supplier Denso slipped 1.70%.
Fast Retailing lost 0.47% and was the biggest drag on the Nikkei by index points.
Pharmacies led the drop among other retailers, with Tsuruha Holdings off 4.58% and Kusuri no Aoki down 3.11%.