Japan's Nikkei little changed; Fed meet, domestic earnings in focus
TOKYO, Jan 31 (Reuters) - Japan's Nikkei index was largely unchanged on Tuesday, as the market showed little direction ahead of the outcome of the U.S. Federal Reserve's policy meeting and as corporate results showed mixed trends.
The Nikkei share average slipped 0.01% to 27,429.59 by the midday break after rising as much as 0.2% earlier in the session. The index is set to post a 5.12% monthly gain, the best since October.
The broader Topix inched up 0.04% to 1,983.19.
"Investors are cautions ahead of the FOMC (Federal Open Market Committee) and U.S. jobs data," said Shoichi Arisawa, general manager of the investment research department at IwaiCosmo Securities.
"At the peak of the earnings season in Japan, investors focus is on individual stocks, rather than the overall move, which is why the market has no direction. Those with good outlook rose and those with dim fell."
U.S. economic data scheduled to be released this week includes readings on consumer confidence, construction spending, and unemployment, and those are expected to factor into whether the Fed will conclude its rate hikes in March.
Among individual stocks, Canon lost 2.1% after the camera maker's annual operating profit forecast disappointed investors.
Oriental Land jumped 3.07% after the operator of the Tokyo Disney Resort raised its annual net profit forecast.
Nissan Motor rose 2.07% after the Japanese automaker and its French partner Renault SA announced a sweeping overhaul of their two-decade-old alliance putting them on equal footing.
The banking sector lost 1.51% to become the worst sector of the 33 industry sub-indexes, followed by the oil explorers and refiners, which lost 1.49% and 1.08%, respectively. (Reporting by Junko Fujita; editing by Uttaresh.V)