The Nikkei index edged up 0.02% to 27,626.51 after slipping into the negative territory momentarily. The broader Topix inched down 0.11% to 1,926.58.
The Nikkei was firm despite losses on the European stocks overnight, after the euro dropped below 99 cents for the first time in 20 years and European gas prices surged after Russia said its main gas supply pipeline to Europe would stay shut.
“Japan‘s economy is supported by various government measures and stable compared with other countries, which gives a comfort to investors,” said Shoichi Arisawa, general manager of the investment research department at IwaiCosmo Securities.
Fast Retailing gained 0.46% and provided the biggest support to the Nikkei.
Censor maker TDK advanced 2.06%. Chip giants Tokyo Electron and Advantest edged up 0.31% and 1.31%, respectively.
Overall, Japanese equities are underpinned by expectations of domestic growth driven by various economic measures, including further easing of border controls after tourism demand was hurt by the COVID-19 outbreak, Nomura Securities strategist Maki Sawada said.
“But caution about slowdown of the U.S. economy capped further gains.”
Unitika surged 7,47% to become the best performer on the Nikkei, even after the textile maker was announced to be excluded from the benchmark in a regular reshuffle.
Maruha Nichiro cut early losses to end flat after the fishing company was excluded from the Nikkei, while Hoya jumped 2,7% after the eyeglass lenses maker was added to the index.