Nikkei inches down as chip shares track U.S. peers; Toyota lifts Topix

TOKYO, June 16 (Reuters) - Japan’s benchmark Nikkei index inched down on Wednesday, dragged by chip-related stocks which tracked U.S. peers, though cyclical shares capped losses on prospects of a domestic economic recovery backed by the nation’s steady rollouts of the COVID-19 vaccines.

The Nikkei share average inched down 0.26% to 29,363.22 by 0218 GMT, while the broader Topix inched up 0.20% to 1,979.34, supported by Toyota Motor, which reached its new high.

“Many investors are holding their bets as they await the outcome of the Federal Reserve meeting, but cyclical stocks that are set to benefit in the post-pandemic era are solid,” said Yutaka Miura, senior technical analyst at Mizuho Securities

Wall Street’s all three major indices dropped overnight as markets awaited fresh guidance from the U.S. Federal Reserve.

Japanese chip-related shares were hit by declines in the Philadelphia Semiconductor index. Tokyo Electron, a leading supplier of chipmaking equipment, slipped 1.33% and Advantest, a major semiconductor test equipment supplier, lost 0.97%.

Energy and materials shares as well as shippers capped losses on the Nikkei.

Among them, Japan’s biggest oil and gas explorer Inpex shined, jumping 4.07%, as oil prices hit their highest in more than two years.

Hopes for an economic reopening lifted department store shares, with Takashimaya jumping 3.15% and Isetan Mitsukoshi Holdings rising 0.95%.

AGC Inc, up 4.66%, gained the most on the Nikkei, followed by Kawasaki Kisen Kaisha gaining 4.38%.

The largest decliner on the index was GS Yuasa Corp down 4.01%, followed by Unitika losing 3.12% and M3 down 2.44%. (Reporting by Junko Fujita; Editing by Shailesh Kuber)