TOKYO, Sept 2 (Reuters) - Japanese shares pulled back from session highs on Thursday, with the broader Topix reversing course after hitting a five-month peak, as West Japan Railway fell by a record and dragged down other rail and transport stocks.
The Topix slipped 0.21% to 1,976.70 by the midday break after scaling a five-month high of 1,987.45 in opening trade.
West Japan Railway (JR West) plunged 15.17%, close to the daily limit, after saying it would sell new shares.
The land transport sub-sector was the worst performer on the Topix with a drop of 3.82%, while air transport fell 1.53%.
The Nikkei share average was up 0.09% at 28,476.01. Earlier in the day, it touched a one-and-a-half month high of 28,626.20 before briefly dipping into negative territory.
Apart from local factors, the U.S. non-farm payrolls data that is considered crucial to the Federal Reserve’s tapering plan spurred caution among investors.
“Market conditions have improved from a technical perspective, but the recent rally was so fast that some investors will want to take profits,” said a market participant with a domestic securities company.
“Buyers are gradually disappearing, with investors waiting to see the U.S. payrolls number into the weekend.”
The Nikkei was supported by heavyweights like chipmakers Advantest and Tokyo Electron - up 2.18% and 1.28%, respectively - and telecom firms including KDDI, which rose 1.0%.
Other tech stocks also gained, with Sony Group up 0.87% and Nintendo climbing 1.64%. Mobile game maker Nexon was the Nikkei’s top performer, rallying 3.36%.
But declines across transport sectors were heavy, with the Nikkei’s four worst performing stocks all railways. JR East slumped 7.14%, JR Central lost 4.33% and Tokyu Corp slid 4.25%.
Airlines ANA Holdings and Japan Airlines fell 1.99% and 0.96%, respectively.
Automakers also declined, with Nissan slumping 2.85%, Honda declining 0.98% and Toyota slipping 0.44%. (Reporting by Tokyo markets team; Editing by Subhranshu Sahu)