TOKYO: Tokyo stocks closed down 0.14 percent on Thursday, giving up early gains as profit-taking overshadowed another record close on Wall Street, although the weaker yen supported exporters.
The benchmark Nikkei 225 index edged down 21.68 points to finish at 15,348.29, while the Topix index of all first-section shares lost 0.17 percent, or 2.19 points, to 1,278.59.
US shares provided a strong lead after payrolls company ADP said the private sector added 281,000 jobs in June, up from 179,000 in May. The news buoyed dealers ahead of Thursday's Department of Labor report on job creation and unemployment nationwide for June.
On Wall Street, the Dow added 0.12 percent and the S&P 500 was marginally higher, both hitting records for a second successive day. The Nasdaq was flat.
Tokyo's headline Nikkei has added nearly 10 percent over the past six weeks but analysts warned that selling pressure was starting to weigh.
"Investors are anxious about the upcoming US nonfarm payrolls data, especially as the private-sector ADP data was really good," Chibagin Asset Management general manager Yoshihiro Okumura told Dow Jones Newswires.
"That said, buying interest remains strong... stocks are still cheap. Investors are just looking for the next catalyst before jumping in."
Toshiba jumped 2.54 percent to 484 yen on a report that its US unit was nearing a deal estimated at almost $5 billion to build a nuclear reactor in Bulgaria.
Dai-Ichi Life fell 2.27 percent to 1,502 yen on dilution fears after the Nikkei economic daily reported the insurer plans to raise about $2.5 billion through new stock offering to complete its acquisition of US rival Protective Life.
SoftBank finished up 0.18 percent at 7,640 yen after it said it plans to raise nearly $15 billion in bond issues over the next two years following a string of major acquisitions, including the $21.6 billion takeover of Sprint Nextel.
In other trading, Canon was down 0.60 percent at 3,301 yen, Toyota fell 0.66 percent to 6,168 yen and Sony dropped 1.45 percent to 1,696 yen.
The dollar changed hands at 101.87 yen in Tokyo, up from 101.77 yen in New York Wednesday afternoon. A weaker yen tends to support shares of Japanese exporters. (AFP)