Japan's Nikkei stock gauge climbed for a fifth straight session on optimism of a recovery in the domestic retail sector, while financial shares were weighed down by U.S. recession concerns.
Japan's Nikkei share average closed 0.26% higher, erasing an early slide, to cement the longest winning streak in more than a month. The broader Topix finished 0.05% higher.
Aeon Co Ltd rose 2.7% to lead all gainers on the Nikkei after the retailer said revenue in the year through February reached an all-time high and forecast record profit for next year.
Cosmetics maker Shiseido Co Ltd jumped 1.96%. Investors will be eyeing results from other major retailers on Thursday, including Uniqlo operator Fast Retailing Co Ltd and Muji owner Ryohin Keikaku Co Ltd.
"As seen in the results of retail companies, increased mobility of people and the recovery of inbound travel are boosting the economy," Nomura strategist Maki Sawada said.
"That seems to be providing some support for the Nikkei."
There were 128 decliners on the Nikkei index against 89 that rose. Financials and tech companies were the biggest losers on the gauge.
Lender Resona Holdings Inc lost 1.62%. Chip equipment maker Tokyo Electron Ltd fell 1.57%.
U.S. shares fell after minutes from the Federal Reserve's policy meeting last month indicated that banking sector stress could tip the economy into a recession. The minutes followed inflation data, which added to the likelihood of another rate hike next month.
"The market has been too complacent on both recession risk and inflation persistence," said Mio Kato, founder of LightStream Research, who publishes on the SmartKarma platform.
"I am expecting earnings guidance to come out cautious, especially on tech," he added.
Lunar transport start-up ispace Inc traded for the first time and closed at 1,201 yen, more than four times its initial public offer price.
(Source: Yahoo Finance), all rights reserved by original source.