TOKYO - Tokyo shares edged 0.20 per cent lower on Monday, giving up early gains as investors waited for policy meetings of the US and Japanese central banks later in the week.
The Nikkei 225 index at the Tokyo Stock Exchange was down 19.19 points to close at 9,542.17. The Topix index of all first-section issues slipped 0.30 per cent or 2.40 points to 809.54.
After opening higher following gains on Wall Street Friday, Tokyo shares slipped as a wait-and-see mood took hold among investors who looked to the Bank of Japan policy meeting, a string of economic data and corporate earnings reports this week, said Tachibana Securities operating officer Kenichi Hirano.
Markets are waiting to see if the US Federal Reserve and the BoJ will usher in further monetary easing, with Hirano saying investors had few other trading cues on Monday.
"No major domestic catalysts are in sight during the trading hours," he told Dow Jones Newswires.
Yakult Honsha, a major lactic acid drinks maker, jumped 11.69 per cent to 3,075 yen on a report that French food giant Danone was eyeing a bigger stake in the Japanese firm.
Danone is in talks with Yakult to hike its stake to 28.0 per cent from 20.0 per cent currently, according to a weekend report in the Nikkei business daily.
But the talks appear to have run into difficulties and could fall apart, the report said.
"The share price will likely rise if both compete for control," said an analyst at a Japanese brokerage.
Shares in Mitsui Chemicals dropped 4.13 per cent to 232 yen(S$3.56) after an explosion ripped through its chemical plant in western Japan on Sunday, killing one worker and injuring at least 10 people.