Japanese shares have closed flat after trading in a tight range with many investors away for their summer holidays.
The Nikkei index at the Tokyo Stock Exchange fell 0.05 per cent, or 4.84 points, to 8,925.04 on Wednesday. The Topix index of all first section shares slipped 0.29 per cent or 2.21 points to 747.32.
After opening strongly, the headline index slipped into negative territory in directionless trade weighed down by profit taking. Exporters were mixed.
Eiji Kinouchi, chief technical analyst at Daiwa Securities Capital Markets, told Dow Jones Newswires that "there should be few concerns over the continuation of the uptrend", with key resistance seen at 9,200.
A weakening yen would help exporters in the coming days, said Okasan Securities strategist Hideyuki Ishiguro. A weaker yen makes exporters' goods more competitive and boosts their repatriated profits.
The greenback stood at Y78.84, nearly flat from 78.73 yen in New York on Tuesday afternoon. The euro was at $1.2334 and Y97.25, up slightly from $1.2321 and Y97.01 in New York.
"US economic indicators slated for release this week are expected to be upbeat," Ishiguro told Dow Jones Newswires.
Among major shares, electronics giant Sharp plunged 12.43 per cent to Y169 after Deutsche Securities downgraded the stock to "sell" from "hold" and cut its target to Y110 yen from Y365.
Japan Tobacco lost 4.83 per cent to 2,439 after an Australian court ruling that upheld new plain-packaging laws.
Toyota Motor added 0.31 per cent to Y3,150. Panasonic lost 2.86 per cent to Y543.