Japanese shares have closed flat despite upbeat factory production data and optimism over eurozone banks after profit-taking zapped earlier impressive gains, brokers say.
The Nikkei 225 index at the Tokyo Stock Exchange on Wednesday closed up 0.01 per cent or 0.72 points at 9,723.24, while the Topix index of all first-section issues fell 2.52 points, or 0.30 per cent, to 835.96.
The benchmark Nikkei at one point hit 9,866.41, its highest intraday level since August 2.
But investors attempted to cash in on the recent gains in late trading, eroding early gains.
The market opened higher after better-than-expected January industrial production data released before the market opened, said Daiwa Securities head of investment strategy and research Kazuhiro Takahashi.
Ahead of the opening bell, the government announced that output rose by a bigger-than-expected 2.0 per cent from December as companies stepped up production of cars and electronic products.
Stocks were also aided by optimism over the European Central Bank's long-term refinancing operation (LTRO) for regional banks slated for later in the day, brokers said.
Nomura Securities senior strategist Juichi Wako said that hopes for increasing global liquidity are lifting sentiment, adding that players are now eyeing 10,000 as the Nikkei's near-term upside.
Shares in Elpida Memory dived 97.24 per cent to Y7 after the Tokyo Stock Exchange removed trading restrictions following the microchip maker's bankruptcy filing.
The bourse has also announced a plan to delist Elpida's shares on March 28.
Elpida, one of the world's biggest chip makers, announced the largest corporate failure in Japanese manufacturing history on Monday.
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