TOKYO, June 4 (Reuters) - Japanese shares ended on a mixed
note on Friday, weighed down by growth shares, as investors
awaited a key U.S. payroll report that could intensify worries
over inflation and taper talks from the Federal Reserve.
The Nikkei average ended 0.40% lower at 28,941.52
after two days of gains, while the broader Topix managed
to close 0.03% higher at 1,959.19, its fourth straight day of
Growth shares fell by 0.34%, while value shares
added 0.37%, as investors sold tech shares and
stay-at-home winners ahead of monthly U.S. non-farm payrolls
data due later on Friday. A strong reading could raise bets over
possible tapering of stimulus measures by the Fed and sap risk
SoftBank Group, whose Vision Fund owns global tech
firm shares, lost 1.3%.
Industrial robot makers posted sizable losses, with Fanuc
losing 2.2% and Yaskawa Electric dropping
Some of last year's star performers crumbled. Medical
support service operator M3 shed 5.0% while bicycle
maker Shimano shed 2.5%.
Still, the market received some support from Japan's
accelerated vaccination programme ahead of the Tokyo Olympics.
"Japan's slow vaccination had been a reason to sell stocks.
But now, about one in 10 people have got at least one shot,
which is much better than just 1% about a month ago," said
Takashi Hiroki, chief strategist at Monex Securities.
Many railway firms gained, with West Japan Railway
adding 1.0% and Central Japan Railway advancing 0.9%.
Investors also scooped up shares of large companies,
including Toyota Motor, which gained 1.6% to a record
high, having risen in 10 of the last 11 sessions.
Hitachi added 2.1% to hit a 20-year high, while
Mitsubishi Chemical rose 2.2% to a two-year high.
Semiconductor firm Lasertec became the most
actively traded stock on the main board, rising 0.9% and
extending its winning streak to 10 days.
(Reporting by Hideyuki Sano; editing by Uttaresh.V and