Japanese stocks fell to 1-1/2-week lows on Wednesday as ex-dividend share price adjustments dented high yielders.
The Nikkei dropped 0.3 per cent, or 63.14 points, to 20,267.05, the weakest level since Sept. 15, moving away from a two-year high of 20,481.27 hit last week, reports Reuters.
About 130 points were cut from the Nikkei by the ex-dividend price adjustment, according to market participants.
High-yielding stocks including automakers, railway operators as well as banks and securities firms underperformed.
US Federal Reserve Chair Janet Yellen said the Fed needs to continue gradual rate hikes despite uncertainty about the path of inflation.
The broader Topix shed 0.5 per cent to 1,664.43. Volume was thin, with only 1.2 billion shares changing hands, the lowest level since August 27, 2012.
Toyota Motor Corp dropped 1.0 per cent, Nissan Motor Co shed 2.6 per cent, West Japan Railway Co declined 1.9 per cent, while Mizuho Financial Group fell 1.4 per cent.
Some tech shares outperformed the overall market, with Advantest Corp surging 2.0 per cent and Panasonic Corp gaining 0.8 per cent.
Elsewhere, agricultural chemical maker Nihon Nohyaku tumbled 4.3 per cent after it cut its operating profit outlook to 3.1 billion yen from its previously forecast 3.9 billion yen for the year ending September.