TOKYO: Tokyo stocks closed flat Wednesday after a fall on Wall Street, with bargain hunting helping to narrow earlier losses.
The benchmark Nikkei 225 index slipped 0.08 percent, or 11.76 points, to finish at 15,302.65, while the Topix index of all first-section issues ended down 0.38 percent, or 4.88 points, at 1,270.82.
The Nikkei extended its losing streak to a third day but was off its 15,185.32 intraday low.
"Down days like today show how the dynamics of the market have shifted versus three months ago, when a much sharper sell-off would have been expected," said Daisuke Uno, strategist at Sumitomo Mitsui Banking.
An equity trading director at a foreign brokerage said: "The story of dip-buying has become all too familiar lately, with domestic money flowing into the market on selloffs, preventing an otherwise sharp fall."
Still, Uno of Sumitomo Mitsui said, the near-term outlook depends largely on the results of US Federal Reserve minutes from the central bank's June meeting, which are due later Wednesday.
"Investors are keen to know the Fed's stance on interest rates following the good jobs data last week," the strategist said.
On Wall Street, the Dow dipped 0.69 percent, while the tech-rich Nasdaq tumbled 1.35 percent.
And in foreign exchange trade the dollar fetched 101.59 yen on Wednesday against 101.57 yen in New York.
In share trading, Mitsui O.S.K. Lines fell 1.30 percent to 378 yen with investors apparently unfazed over a report in the leading Nikkei business daily that the firm will start the first regular shipping through the Arctic Ocean by 2018, moving Siberian natural gas to foreign markets.
Automaker Toyota dropped 1.12 percent to 6,062 yen and Sony was down 1.22 percent at 1,697 yen. (AFP)