TOKYO: Tokyo stocks closed 0.18 percent lower Thursday, giving up early gains as caution prevailed ahead of the release of crucial US jobs data which could give investors clues about the state of the world's biggest economy.
The benchmark Nikkei-225 index slipped 25.26 points to 14,155.12, while the Topix index of all first-section shares inched down 0.02 percent, or 0.27 points, to 1,162.37.
On Wednesday the Nikkei added 1.23 percent, clawing back some losses after it dived 4.18 percent in the previous session in a global stocks sell-off.
"The tension in the buildup to Friday's US non-farm payroll data is heavy with the increased uncertainty over where the US economy is headed," said SMBC Nikko Securities general manager of equities Hiroichi Nishi.
"Stocks are cheap, but that may not matter if the US numbers don't significantly impress," he told Dow Jones Newswires.
Recent weak manufacturing data from the United States has triggered concerns about the global economy and helped send stock markets tumbling.
With China's markets set to re-open Friday, "there is also trepidation that after the long Lunar New Year holiday, they may be in for a tumble as prices re-calibrate to the rest of the global selloff that has occurred," said an equity market trader at a foreign brokerage.
Sony closed up 1.50 percent to 1,624 yen before it announced a drastic cut in full-year earnings.
After the market closed, the Japanese consumer electronics maker said it would lose about $1.08 billion and was exiting the personal computer business.
In Tokyo trading, Panasonic tumbled 4.12 percent to 1,210 yen after rocketing 19 percent Wednesday on news the firm swung into the black with a $2.4 billion profit in the nine months to December.
Sharp, which announced a small nine-month profit this week, was down 0.32 percent to 307 yen.
Toyota lost 0.77 percent to end at 5,785 yen.
In forex markets, the dollar bought 101.47 yen, little changed from 101.49 yen in New York Wednesday.
On Wall Street, the Dow ended flat, the S&P 500 dipped 0.20 percent and the Nasdaq lost 0.50 percent. (AFP)