TOKYO, Aug. 8 (Xinhua) -- Tokyo stocks closed marginally lower Wednesday in choppy trade as investors eventually opted to take profits ahead of potentially tricky U.S.-Japan trade talks scheduled for the following day in Washington.
The 225-issue Nikkei Stock Average edged down 18.43 points, or 0.08 percent, from Tuesday to close the day at 22,644.31.
The broader Topix index of all First Section issues on the Tokyo Stock Exchange, meanwhile, lost 1.34 points, or 0.08 percent, to finish at 1,744.71.
Stocks gained ground in early trade brokers said on the back of Wall Street's solid showing overnight and upbeat domestic earning reports from bellwether firms here.
But the upward momentum was lost in later trade, market strategists said, as hedge funds moved to secure profits made earlier ahead of U.S.-Japan trade talks scheduled for Thursday in Washington.
They added that some market players are nervous about the U.S. side's potential push to open up Japan's sensitive auto and agricultural sectors in a bilateral free trade agreement, which Tokyo is hoping to evade.
Local traders also said that investors also remained cautious amid mounting trade tariff offenses that may be unilaterally launched by the U.S. later this month that might further escalate international trade tensions.
By the close of play, oil and coal product, and rubber product issues comprised those that declined the most, while information and communication, and machinery issues led notable gainers.
On the main section on Wednesday, 1,449.82 million shares changed hands, rising from Tuesday's volume of 1,324.12 million shares, and rising issues beat falling ones by 1,039 to 984 on the First Section, while 81 ended the day unchanged.
The turnover on the third trading day of the week came to 2,546.6 billion yen (22.94 billion U.S. dollars).