TOKYO: Tokyo stocks closed flat on Monday with few trading incentives for investors to act on, after the Japanese market added more than three percent last week.
The Nikkei 225 index inched up 0.03 percent, or 4.26 points, to finish at 15,322.60. The Topix index of all first-section issues gained 0.05 percent, or 0.58 points, to 1,271.26.
Many traders were just starting to return to the market after taking last week off for a holiday in Japan.
"Mid-summer doldrums are taking a toll on the market's vitality," SMBC Friend Securities senior strategist Toshihiko Matsuno told Dow Jones Newswires.
"Hopes for more Bank of Japan monetary easing -- perhaps by year-end -- to push the yen down and stimulate stock buying are not likely to be fulfilled, unless data point to a significant weakness in the central bank's plan to raise inflation," he added.
Geopolitical tensions, including crises in the Ukraine and Iraq, and US Fed policy were likely to continue exerting sway over Japan investor sentiment, he said.
Federal Reserve chief Janet Yellen is to deliver a speech at the central bank's annual economic policy symposium on Friday as investors look for any hint of a change to the Fed's interest-rate plans.
In Tokyo share trading, Chugai Pharmaceutical jumped 15.38 percent to 3,825.0 yen after a report that major stakeholder Roche of Switzerland was interested in buying the Japanese firm. Chugai denied the report which came out last week.
Nintendo rose 3.98 percent to 11,740.0 yen after reports it would offer an online Pokemon trading card game on iPads.
SoftBank rose 0.44 percent to 7,043.0 yen after the mobile carrier announced it would issue 400 billion yen ($3.9 billion) worth of corporate bonds.
In forex markets, the dollar was at 102.37 yen in afternoon Tokyo trade against 102.34 yen in New York. (AFP)