Japan's Nikkei edges up on Wed after the Dow ends in positive territory

TOKYO - Tokyo shares opened percent lower Wednesday but recovered within the first hour of trading. The Nikkei was up 0.51 per cent to 16,948.83.

Traders expected to see some consolidation after the Nikkei gained 10 percent over the past four sessions, boosted by a surprise decision last week by the Bank of Japan to expand its asset-buying programme, AFP reported.

Investors also welcomed a decision by Japan's public pension fund - the world's biggest - to double the amount of equities in its investment portfolio. "Last week's unexpectedly aggressive Bank of Japan easing action, combined with the Government Pension Investment Fund's stock-heavy allocation shift, has been a game-changer for equity markets, raising the floor for stock values," said Norihiro Fujito, senior investment strategist at Mitsubishi UFJ Morgan Stanley Securities.

"But Nikkei downside is likely to be less pronounced going forward, with more investors - including the government - standing ready to buy on the dip," he told Dow Jones Newswires.

The Australian market was also weaker, with the ASX200 0.58 per cent lower at 5,488 in early trade.

Overnight in New York, the Dow Jones Industrial Average edged up 0.10 percent while the broad-based S&P 500 dropped 0.28 percent.