TOKYO, Jan. 31 (Xinhua) -- Japan's benchmark Nikkei stock index closed lower Tuesday amid caution ahead of the conclusion of the U.S. Federal Reserve's policy meeting and U.S. bellwether firms' earnings reports.
The 225-issue Nikkei Stock Average dropped 106.29 points, or 0.39 percent, from Monday to close the day at 27,327.11.
The broader Topix index, meanwhile, lost 7.13 points, or 0.36 percent, to finish at 1,975.27.
Dealers here said that investors adopted a wait-and-see approach ahead of the outcome of the Fed's policy-setting meeting Wednesday, with all eyes on the future course of the central bank's aggressive interest rate hikes.
In addition, a slew of U.S. economic data and corporate earnings reports from bellwether firms such as Apple Inc. and Alphabet Inc., along with Japanese firms' reports and outlooks, saw investors hit the sidelines and lock in gains, brokers here said.
"Investors are cautious ahead of the FOMC (Federal Open Market Committee) and U.S. jobs data," Shoichi Arisawa, general manager of the investment research department at IwaiCosmo Securities, was quoted as saying.
"At the peak of the earnings season in Japan, investors' focus is on individual stocks rather than the overall move, which is why the market has no direction. Those with good outlook rose and those with dim fell," Arisawa said.
Stocks losing ground on earnings outlooks included camera maker Canon falling 1.8 percent, after its annual operating profit forecast missed median market expectations.
The banking sector as a whole retreated almost 2.3 percent, with energy shares also weighing heavily, although utility-linked issues found favor with Chubu Electric climbing 8.6 percent, after it said it expects robust profits in the year ending March.
Nissan Motor gained traction, accelerating 2.1 percent, after the automaker announced a realignment with partner Renault SA, who will reduce its holdings in the company providing more parity.
Tokyo Disney Resort operator Oriental Land advanced 3.4 percent, after raising its annual net profit forecast and announcing a pay hike for its employees.
By the close of play, bank, mining, and pharmaceutical issues comprised sectors that declined the most, and the turnover on the second trading day of the week came to 2,919.62 billion yen (22.39 billion U.S. dollars). ■