TOKYO, June 9 Reuters Japanese equities closed lower on Wednesday, on profitbooking in shippers and semiconductor stocks, with investors awaiting U.S. inflation data as it could influence how soon the Federal Reserve pares its stimulus programme.
Financial firms and insurers declined after a retreat in longterm U.S. Treasury yields dampened the outlook for returns on their portfolios.
Eisai Co, however, surged 16.26, rising by the daily limit for a second straight session after its Alzheimers drug received a nod from U.S. regulators on Monday.
The Nikkei share average ended 0.35 lower at 28,860.80, while the broader Topix was down 0.28 at 1,957.14.
Japanese investors want to see the U.S. CPI number tomorrow, and if its not faster than expected, that should come as a relief to markets and could very well result in a rally, said Masahiro Ichikawa, chief market strategist at Sumitomo Mitsui DS Asset Management.
Right now though, theres a strong waitandsee attitude overall in markets, he said, adding that investors booked profits and squared positions ahead of the data.
The Topixs sea transport subsector was the biggest decliner, sliding 3.33, following its surge to the highest in more than a decade. Kawasaki Kisen led declines on the Nikkei with a 4.54 tumble, while Mitsui OSK Lines lost 3.59.
Semiconductor firm Lasertec dropped 3.86, declining for a third day after climbing to a record peak.
Air transport was the best performing subsector, rising 3.26, followed…