April 17, 2018 / 3:32 AM / 6 months ago

Nikkei flat; investors on sidelines ahead of Japan-U.S. meet

TOKYO, April 17 (Reuters) - Japanese shares were flat on Tuesday morning as investors turned cautious ahead of a meeting between Prime Minister Shinzo Abe and U.S. President Donald Trump in which Tokyo fears the latter may link vital security matters with touchy trade topics.

The market is unlikely to move sharply either way throughout the day as investors await the outcome of the two-day summit that starts on Tuesday, traders said.

The Nikkei share average was trading at 21,837.39 at the midday break. The broader Topix fell 0.2 percent to 1,732.39, with 25 of its 33 sub-sectors falling.

Shares of food companies gained, with NH Foods rising 1.5 percent and Ajinomoto gaining 0.8 percent.

Financial stocks underperformed, with Mitsubishi UFJ Financial Group falling 1.2 percent and Sumitomo Mitsui Financial Group shedding 1.4 percent. Nomura Holdings lost 1.2 percent while MS&AD Insurance declined 1.4 percent.

Takeda Pharmaceutical Co soared 1.8 percent after Shire, which faces a potential bid from Takeda, said it would sell its oncology business to unlisted French drugmaker Servier for $2.4 billion. (Reporting by Ayai Tomisawa; Editing by Vyas Mohan)

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