By Stanley White
TOKYO, Dec 10 (Reuters) - Japanese shares edged lower on Tuesday as the deadline neared for a fresh round of U.S. tariffs on Chinese imports, against the backdrop of positive comments from Washington and Beijing on progress in the trade talks.
The Nikkei 225 index .N225 ended Tuesday down 0.08% at 23,410.19, with industrial and consumer discretionary sectors leading the decliners.
In the run-up to new tariffs on $156 billion worth of Chinese imports on Dec. 15, both China and the United States have made reconciliatory tones.
While China said it hoped to make a trade deal as soon as possible, U.S. President Donald Trump said Washington is doing well in hammering out an agreement with Beijing. traders are also focused on a U.S. Federal Reserve meeting starting Tuesday, where the central bank is widely expected to keep interest rates on hold. the outside, it's really difficult to see what is going on in the U.S.-China trade talks," Kiyoshi Ishigane, chief fund manager at Mitsubishi UFJ Kokusai Asset Management Co in Tokyo said.
"It's difficult to take big positions before the Fed meeting. A rate cut is not expected, but if the Fed sounds hawkish, stocks could fall."
The biggest percentage losers in the index were chemicals maker Tokuyama Corp 4043.T down 4.29%, followed by parcel delivery firm Yamato Holdings Co Ltd 9064.T losing 3.32% and Kansai Electric Power Co Inc 9503.T down 3.28%.
The largest percentage gainers in the index were drugs maker Daiichi Sankyo Co Ltd 4568.T up 3.67%, followed by electronic components maker Taiyo Yuden Co Ltd 6976.T gaining 3.49% and marine products maker Nippon Suisan Kaisha Ltd 1332.T up 3.23%.
There were 69 advancers on the Nikkei index against 152 decliners on Tuesday.
The broader Topix .TOPX fell 0.09% to 1,720.77.
The volume of shares traded on the Tokyo Stock Exchange's main board .TOPX was 1.05 billion, compared to the average of 1.25 billion in the past 30 days.
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