TOKYO, March 11 (Reuters) - Japanese shares inched higher on Thursday as investors picked up beaten-down cyclical stocks while cutting their positions in some index heavyweights.
"Growth-related shares have helped the market, but a sell-off in index heavyweights has also weighed," said Koichi Kurose, chief strategist, Resona Asset Management.
The Nikkei had rallied to a 30-year high last month on expectations of an economic rebound and better-than expected corporate earnings.
On Thursday, chip-related shares fell, with Tokyo Electron 8035.T declining 1.72% and Advantest 6857.T losing 0.72%. Both the stocks weighed on the benchmark Nikkei index, along with medical equipment maker Terumo 4543.T and drug maker Astellas Pharma 4503.T , losing 1.24% to 2.31%.
Among the top 30 core Topix names, Recruit Holdings 6098.T , up 1.77%, and Mitsui & Co 8031.T , which rose 1.26%, gained the most. The underperformers were Murata Manufacturing Co 6981.T , down 3.56%, and Keyence 6861.T that fell 2.89%.
There were 154 advancers on the Nikkei index against 67 decliners.
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