* Tech shares slump in step with Apple's fall on Monday
* Nikkei volatility index hits 1-1/2-year low
* Defensive shares in demand
By Hideyuki Sano
TOKYO, July 9 (Reuters) - Japan's Nikkei share average eked out small gains on Tuesday but the broader market fell as Apple suppliers and other technology firms dropped in step with Apple.
Topix small .TOPXS which consists of main board shares excluding 500 of the biggest companies fell 0.7%, while Topix 500 .TOPX500 fell 0.17%, with Topix core 30 .TOPXC of top 30 firms falling just 0.05%.
Defensive shares, including FamilyMart, were in demand as investors continued to favour sectors seen as least susceptible to global risks.
On the other hand, electronic part makers and other semi-conductor-related firms bucked the trend, after Apple Inc AAPL.O led U.S. technology shares lower on Monday following a brokerage downgrade.
The Nikkei has been stuck in a narrow range between 21,500 and 21,800 this month as investors seek more clarity on the U.S. Federal Reserve's policy and as the global economic outlook.
"There are some questions over whether the Fed can really cut rates this month after such a strong reading on payrolls data," said Hiroshi Masushima, market analyst at Monex Securities.
Masushima said the Nikkei was unlikely to move much until next month when investors have a clearer idea on the Fed's policy and Japanese earnings outlook. In fact, expectations of a range-bound market are wide spread.
The Nikkei volatility index .JNIV , a measure of investors' volatility expectations based on option pricing, hitting a 1-1/2-year low.
Add Chart to Comment
We encourage you to use comments to engage with users, share your perspective and ask questions of authors and each other. However, in order to maintain the high level of discourse we’ve all come to value and expect, please keep the following criteria in mind:
- Enrich the conversation
- Stay focused and on track. Only post material that’s relevant to the topic being discussed.
- Be respectful. Even negative opinions can be framed positively and diplomatically.
- Use standard writing style. Include punctuation and upper and lower cases.
- NOTE: Spam and/or promotional messages and links within a comment will be removed
- Avoid profanity, slander or personal attacks directed at an author or another user.
- Don’t Monopolize the Conversation. We appreciate passion and conviction, but we also believe strongly in giving everyone a chance to air their thoughts. Therefore, in addition to civil interaction, we expect commenters to offer their opinions succinctly and thoughtfully, but not so repeatedly that others are annoyed or offended. If we receive complaints about individuals who take over a thread or forum, we reserve the right to ban them from the site, without recourse.
- Only English comments will be allowed.
Perpetrators of spam or abuse will be deleted from the site and prohibited from future registration at Investing.com’s discretion.