Tokyo stocks closed in negative territory on Tuesday, with the benchmark Nikkei snapping a four-session winning streak as the Bank of Japan held off fresh easing to stoke the nation's slowing economy.
The Nikkei 225 index at the Tokyo Stock Exchange slipped 0.12 percent, or 10.56 points, to 9,142.64, while the broader Topix index of all first-section shares eased 0.02 percent, or 0.12
points, to 762.04.
Dealers said profit-taking hit the market as investors locked in gains from the past several sessions which saw the Nikkei surge almost six percent to a two-month high on Monday.
“The weaker yen, hopes for a change of government, and more Bank of Japan easing have fuelled the market's rise over the past few sessions,” Yutaka Miura, senior technical analyst at Mizuho Securities, told Dow Jones Newswires.
“But they're mostly all factored in now.”
The market tends to get a boost from the weaker yen as it helps exporters.
Hopes for fresh central bank easing were dashed as the BoJ on Tuesday held off any new policy measures and kept rates unchanged, resisting calls from opposition leader Shinzo Abe for fresh action to reverse a slowdown in the world's third-largest economy.
Abe is widely tipped to become Japan's next prime minister after a general election next month.
Tokyo's fall followed a surge on Wall Street Monday with the Dow Jones Industrial Average shooting up 1.65 percent to close at 12,795.96 on hopes that US lawmakers will agree a deal to avert a fiscal cliff that will likely send the economy into recession.
It was also given support from upbeat housing data.
In Tokyo trade, Japan Tobacco was down 2.73 percent at 2,345
yen, Canon slumped 0.85 percent to 2,793 yen, and Honda closed down 1.03 percent at 2,575 yen.
On currency markets, the euro bought $1.2799 and 104.02 yen in Tokyo, compared with $1.2778 and $103.99 yen in New York late Monday.
The dollar was at 81.27 yen from 81.40 yen in US trade. - Sapa-AFP