TOKYO, Jan 29 (Reuters) - Japan's Nikkei ended flat in choppy trade on Monday with gains in cyclicals such as memory chip makers offset by weakness in in shares sensitive to domestic demand, notably railroad and construction companies.
The Nikkei share average ended flat at 23,629.34 after flirting in positive territory in early trade.
Silicon products maker Shin-Etsu Chemical jumped 4.6 percent after raising its net profit forecast and dividend payout outlook for the year ending March, while silicon wafer maker Sumco soared 2.0 percent.
Chip-making equipment manufacturers also outperformed the overall market, with Tokyo Electron rising 1.3 percent and Advantest Corp advancing 1.8 percent.
Insurers rallied with T&D Holdings up 1.7 percent and Dai-ichi Life Holdings surging 0.8 percent.
But railroad operators slipped, with East Japan Railway falling 1.2 percent and West Japan Railway declining 0.9 percent.
Contractor Obayashi shed 1.1 percent and Taisei declined 1.0 percent.
The broader Topix eked out small gains, adding 0.1 percent to 1,880.45.
Reporting by Ayai Tomisawa; Editing by Eric Meijer