TOKYO, April 19 Japanese stocks were nearly flat
on Wednesday in choppy trade as investors refrained from taking
large positions as geopolitical tensions soured the mood.
The Nikkei 225 share average edged up 0.07 percent
to 18,432.20 after traversing positive and negative territory,
while the broader Topix was down 0.01 percent at
Regional banks Kita-Nippon Bank and Keiyo Bank
both underperformed after the 10-year JGB yield
hit 0 percent, its lowest level since mid
Escalating tensions between the United States and North
Korea kept investors nervous, while eyes were also on Europe
where sterling surged after British Prime Minister Theresa May
called an early general election for June 8, seeking to
strengthen her party's majority ahead of Brexit negotiations.
Exporters were mixed, with Toyota Motor Corp
falling 1.1 percent, Honda Motor Co shedding 1.2
percent and Panasonic Corp rising 0.7 percent.
Shippers fell after the Baltic dry index, or freight
charges, dropped overnight. Mitsui OSK Lines shed 2.1
percent and Nippon Yusen stumbled 3.1 percent.
The JPX-Nikkei Index 400 declined 0.1 percent to
(Reporting by Ayai Tomisawa; Editing by Simon Cameron-Moore)