Tokyo stocks closed flat on Tuesday with a strong yen offsetting data-driven hopes for a US economic recovery, brokers said.
The benchmark Nikkei 225 index at the Tokyo Stock Exchange edged down 5.93 points to close at 9,464.71. The broader Topix index of all first-section issues fell 0.09 per cent, or 0.74 points, to 803.09.
The index was struggling for direction as concerns over a stronger yen counterbalanced better-than-expected US retail sales data, said Hiroichi Nishi, general manager of equity division at SMBC Nikko Securities.
US retail sales data were good, "but the yen is strengthening", he told Dow Jones Newswires.
The euro fell to 105.43 yen in Tokyo afternoon trade from 105.64 yen in New York late Monday. The US dollar stood at 80.41 yen against 80.39 yen in New York late Monday and 80.66 earlier in Tokyo.
The yen's strength hurts domestic exporters by making their products more expensive overseas and eroding the value of overseas-earned profits.
Selling pressure grew on Tuesday afternoon as cautious trading continued ahead of market moving events such as Spanish bond auctions later in the day, said Okasan Online Securities chief strategist Yoshihiro Ito.
"Investors are being risk averse, bidding up bonds and selling stocks," Ito said, adding that "unless the yen gets weaker or the external environment gets better, a consolidation phase may remain."
US stocks were mixed on Monday as investors weighed the March retail sales numbers with weak manufacturing figures and concerns that Spain may not be able to avoid a bailout.
The Dow Jones Industrial Average rose 0.56 per cent, the broader S&P 500 was flat and the tech-focused Nasdaq tumbled 0.76 per cent.
The US Commerce Department reported that retail and food service sales expanded 0.8 per cent last month, slightly below February's increase but beating expectations.
But the New York state manufacturing index plunged to 6.6 in April, from 20.2 in March, and a home builders' sentiment index fell more than expected.
US markets were also jittery after a rise in Spanish and Italian bond yields.
The Japanese technology sector reversed its earlier gains, with TDK down 0.36 per cent to close at 4,150 yen and Sony down 2.30 per cent at 1,397 yen.
Toshiba ended unchanged at 333 yen following a report in the Nikkei business daily that its subsidiary Toshiba Tec Corp will spend around Y70.0 billion ($A841.95 million) to buy IBM's point-of-sale terminals business.