* Topix hits more than 1-year high before edging lower
* Toshiba jumps after report on chip business' higher value
By Ayai Tomisawa
TOKYO, Feb 22 Japanese stocks edged down on
Wednesday morning in choppy trade as a pause in the dollar's
rise against the yen kept investors on the sidelines as they
awaited the minutes of the U.S. Federal Reserve's latest meeting
for clues for interest rate hikes.
The Nikkei dropped 0.2 percent at 19,345.31 in
midmorning trade after staying nearly flat.
Meanwhile, the broader Topix was down 0.1 percent
after hitting as high as 1,559.51 points at the open, the
highest level since December 2015.
Analysts said that Japanese market's upside should be
limited as there appeared to be a respite in the yen's weaker
trend, leaving investors to look for other catalysts.
In Asian trade, the dollar was 0.2 percent lower at 113.52
yen, edging away from its peak of 114.955 yen touched a
week ago, which was its highest since late January.
"If the dollar strengthens against the yen and stays above
the 114 level, investors will likely chase the market higher,"
said Hikaru Sato, a senior technical analyst at Daiwa
Exporters were mixed, with Toyota Motor Corp
falling 0.1 percent, Honda Motor Co rising 1.0 percent
and Panasonic Corp gaining 0.5 percent.
Rakuten Inc surged 11 percent after it said it will
buy back up to 8.4 percent of its own shares, worth 100 billion
yen ($881.60 million).
Meanwhile, Toshiba Corp jumped 12 percent after the
Nikkei reported that the company has asked potential bidders for
its memory chip business to peg the operations' value at 2
trillion yen or more.
The JPX-Nikkei Index 400 shed 0.2 percent to
(Editing by Simon Cameron-Moore)