Japanese stocks struggled for traction on Monday as gains in financial shares were offset by drops in real estate and construction companies, with Obayashi Corp diving more than 8.0 per cent.
Obayashi tumbled on reports that it is under investigation on suspicion of rigging contracts for Japan’s magnetic levitation train line.
The Nikkei share average was little changed at 22,815.28 by midmorning trade after opening up 0.4 per cent, reports Reuters.
Financials gained ground, with Mitsubishi UFJ Financial Group rising 1.0 per cent, Sumitomo Mitsui Financial Group up 2.0 per cent and insurer T&D Holdings adding 1.3 per cent.
The construction sector plunged 1.9 per cent and was the worst performer.
Real estate firms also languished, with Mitsui Fudosan and Mitsubishi Estate both falling 1.2 per cent.
Chip equipment makers also lost ground. Tokyo Electron Ltd dropped 1.5 per cent and Advantest Corp shed 0.5 per cent
The broader Topix shed 0.1 per cent to 1,801.54.