TOKYO, Aug 26 (Reuters) - Japanese shares inched lower on Wednesday as investors chose to book profit after the Nikkei briefly recovered to pre-pandemic levels in the previous session.
The benchmark Nikkei share average .N225 eased 0.17% to 23,257.17 by the midday break, after closing 1.35% firmer on Tuesday. It hit its highest level since Feb. 21 in the last session as COVID-19 treatment hopes bolstered market sentiment.
The broader Topix .TOPX lost 0.35% to 1,619.54.
Limiting losses for the Nikkei index, heavyweight SoftBank Group 9984.T rose 2.34% after recent correction.
While the main focus is on Federal Reserve Chair Jerome Powell's speech on Thursday for the U.S. central bank's view on inflation and monetary policy, some investors are also waiting for details on Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe's health.
Abe plans to hold a press conference as early as this week about his health after recent visits to a hospital, local media reported. restaurant group Colowide Co 7616.T lost 0.19% as the company extended its hostile bid for casual dining chain Ootoya Holdings 2705.T after failing to secure enough shares by the deadline. Ootoya shares jumped 10.44%. advertiser Recruit Holdings Co 6098.T fell 2% ahead of its results after market hours.
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