Japan's Nikkei surrenders early gains, U.S. economic data in focus

Japan's Nikkei share average gave up early gains on Thursday, with shipping firms leading the retreat, while investors globally awaited U.S. economic data that could sway the Federal Reserve's rate-hike path.
The Nikkei index had slipped 0.12% to 27,361.10 by the midday break, after four straight sessions of gains. Earlier in the day, it rose as much as 0.4%.
The broader Topix was down 0.15% at 1,977.62.
"No major firms announced their outlook in the previous session, so investors saw little clues today," said Chihiro Ohta, assistant general manager at the investment research and investor services at SMBC Nikko Securities.
"Global investors cannot make a move ahead of major U.S. economic indicators."
The S&P 500 ended nominally lower on Wednesday as a string of corporate earnings ran the gamut from downbeat to dismal, reviving worries over the economic impact of the Fed's restrictive policy.
Investors are now awaiting the fourth-quarter U.S. GDP data due at 1330 GMT, which could set the tone for the Fed's upcoming policy meeting.
In Japan, chip-related Tokyo Electron and Advantest lost 1.81% and 3.05%, respectively, dragging the Nikkei the most.
Air-conditioning maker Daikin Industries slipped 1.29% and audio equipment maker Sony Group lost 1.71%.
CyberAgent recovered from early losses to trade 0.16% higher. The company posted a 5 billion yen ($38.64 million) net loss for the quarter ended December.
Shares of the media and game firm were volatile during the soccer World Cup last month as investors eyed profitability in its media business, which streamed all matches on its Abema platform for free.
Shipping firms lost 2.89% and the sector was the worst performer among the 33 industry sub-indexes on the Tokyo Stock Exchange. The banking sector lost 0.85%. ($1 = 129.3900 yen)

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