September 4, 2018 / 3:19 AM / 18 days ago

Nikkei barely moves as trade concerns dampen risk appetites

* Nikkei switches between negative and positive territory

* Many investors waiting for U.S. markets to reopen for cues

* Pigeon soars on strong profits, Ito An dives on profit drop

By Ayai Tomisawa

TOKYO, Sept 4 (Reuters) - Japan's Nikkei was basically flat in choppy trade on Tuesday morning as lingering global trade concerns caused many investors to remain risk averse.

The Nikkei share average was fractionally down at 22,712.22 in mid-morning trade, after switching frequently between positive and negative territory.

Underscoring risk posed by trade disputes, investors bought the safe haven yen, with the yen rising 0.05 percent to 111.05 to the dollar.

U.S. President Donald Trump added impetus to trade worries at the weekend when he said there was no need to keep Canada in the North American Free Trade Agreement and warned Congress not to meddle with the trade talks.

With U.S. markets closed on Monday for a holiday, investors stayed on the sidelines until they could see how U.S. shares perform when New York exchanges reopen, analysts said.

"People are focusing on whether Wall Street opens higher amid trade concerns. Emerging market currencies are unstable as well. Such external factors are dampening the mood," said Yutaka Miura, a senior technical analyst at Mizuho Securities.

He added that investors are waiting for a raft of U.S. economic data including ISM non-manufacturing index and jobs data due this week.

Earnings reports in Japan moved some Japanese shares.

Baby bottle maker Pigeon Corp soared as much as 6.6 percent after announcing net profit for the February-July period jumped 25 percent from a year earlier.

Department store operator Matsuya rose 2.6 percent after its August same-store sales rose 6.9 percent due to brisk sales in women's accessories such as sunglasses and umbrellas.

Tea beverage drink maker Ito En dived 9.8 percent after it reported a 7.1 percent drop in net profit for May-July, during which it had a product recall.

Banking shares, which fell on Monday, gained ground. Nomura Holdings rose 1.0 percent and Mitsubishi UFJ Financial Group advanced 0.9 percent.

The broader Topix was flat at 1,720.97. (Editing by Richard Borsuk)

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