Tokyo's Nikkei index closes lower

Tokyo's key Nikkei 225 index closed lower Thursday on fears over inflationary pressure due to the war in Ukraine, but with few fresh market-moving events.

The Nikkei 225 index ended down 0.27 percent, or 72.96 points, at 26,604.84, while the broader Topix index closed 0.05 percent, or 1.00 points, higher at 1,877.58.

The Tokyo market started with gains extending Wall Street rallies, but later started to slip "following subdued Chinese shares", Okasan Online Securities said in a note.

The Japanese market "lacked a sense of direction" with a dearth of market-moving events, it added.

The dollar fetched 127.29 yen in Asia, against 127.26 yen in New York late Wednesday.

Global markets perked up overnight after the US Federal Reserve released its minutes in which policymakers, as investors expected, agreed that they need to raise rates by 50 basis points in the next two meetings.

Market players are now eyeing the release of US GDP data later in the day, said Stephen Innes of SPI Asset Management.

However, inflationary pressure due to the war in Ukraine continued to worry investors.

"The recent oil shock is the most worrying price spike of the various inflationary inputs and the biggest driver of recession risk, not rate hikes," Innes said.

In Tokyo, Mitsubishi Electric dropped 4.15 percent to 1,363.5 yen, chip-testing equipment maker Advantest sank 3.63 percent to 8,220 yen, and Takeda Pharmaceutical was off 0.66 percent at 3,762 yen.

Toyota rallied 1.68 percent to 2.082 yen, SoftBank Group gained 1.22 percent to 5,164 yen, and Sony Group ended up 0.54 percent at 11,265 yen.

ANA Holdings gained 1.90 percent to 2,549.5 yen and its rival Japan Airlines rallied 2.24 percent to 2,325 yen.