Tokyo: Tokyo shares ended lower on Wednesday with investors sitting on their hands as US and Chinese trade negotiators prepared to meet again.
The market was also in wait-and-see mode ahead of the US Federal Reserve's policy decision later on Wednesday, meaning major indices spent much of the day in the red.
The Nikkei 225 index, which opened briefly in positive territory, ended down 0.52 per cent, or 108.10 points, to 20,556.54 while the broader Topix index lost 0.41 per cent, or 6.33 points, at 1,550.76.
Following a lacklustre performance on Wall Street overnight, the Tokyo market quickly succumbed to profit taking, wiping out earlier gains to turn negative.
Players refrained from taking major positions before the US-China trade talks as well as Federal Reserve Chairman Jerome Powell's press conference, Okasan Online Securities said in a commentary.
"After reaching today's peak shortly after the opening bell, it quickly turned lower," the brokerage said, adding that the market lacked fresh trading clues.
"Investors were unable to move before events overseas," it added.
The dollar was also weighed down before Powell's press conference. The greenback bought 109.27 yen in Tokyo, compared with 109.46 yen in New York.
"We are focusing on whether Powell will signal another market-friendly message," said Minori Uchida, head of Tokyo global markets research at MUFG Bank.
Among major shares, telecoms operator SoftBank — an arm of tech investor SoftBank Group — gave up 3.09 per cent to 1,378 yen.
Uniqlo operator Fast Retailing fell 1.32 per cent to 49,910 yen. Sony lost 1.27 per cent to 5,281 yen.
Toyota fell 0.55 per cent to 6,639 yen. Mitsubishi UFJ Financial Group dropped 0.21 per cent to 580.2 yen.