TOKYO, March 11 Reuters Japanese shares inched higher on Thursday as investors picked up beatendown 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.
Growthrelated shares have helped the market, but a selloff in index heavyweights has also weighed, said Koichi Kurose, chief strategist, Resona Asset Management.
The Nikkei had rallied to a 30year high last month on expectations of an economic rebound and betterthan expected corporate earnings.
On Thursday, chiprelated 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 rising 6.67.
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 decliners.
Reporting by Junko Fujita in Tokyo; editing by Uttaresh.V