TOKYO, March 11 (Reuters) - Japanese shares inched higher on
Thursday as investors picked up beaten-down cyclical stocks
while cutting their positions in some index heavyweights.
The Nikkei index was up 0.49% at 29,179.43 by 0208
GMT, while the broader Topix edged up 0.27% to 1,924.83.
"Growth-related shares have helped the market, but a
sell-off in index heavyweights has also weighed," said Koichi
Kurose, chief strategist, Resona Asset Management.
The Nikkei had rallied to a 30-year high last month on
expectations of an economic rebound and better-than expected
On Thursday, chip-related shares fell, with Tokyo Electron
declining 1.72% and Advantest losing 0.72%.
Both the stocks weighed on the benchmark Nikkei index, along
with medical equipment maker Terumo and drug maker
Astellas Pharma, losing 1.24% to 2.31%.
Shipping firms jumped, making them the largest gainers on
the Nikkei, with Kawasaki Kisen surging 9.11%, Mitsui
OSK Lines gaining 8.35% and Nippon Yusen
The largest percentage losers on the index were Isuzu Motors
, down 4.21%, followed by Alps Alpine, losing
2.83% and Bridgestone down 2.37%.
Among the top 30 core Topix names, Recruit Holdings
, up 1.77%, and Mitsui & Co, which rose 1.26%,
gained the most. The underperformers were Murata Manufacturing
Co, down 3.56%, and Keyence that fell 2.89%.
There were 154 advancers on the Nikkei index against 67
(Reporting by Junko Fujita in Tokyo; editing by Uttaresh.V)