TOKYO, Oct 22 (Reuters) - Japanese stocks fell on Thursday afternoon, giving up earlier gains on profit-taking as investors awaited word from a European Central Bank meeting later in the day on its plans about further quantitative easing.
The Nikkei share average dropped 0.6 percent to 18,442.82 in mid-afternoon trade, compared to the morning close of 18,565.83.
"Global investors are taking a wait-and-see stance before the (ECB) event, as depending on the outcome the euro could move sharply," said Hikaru Sato, a senior technical analyst at Daiwa Securities.
The broader Topix shed 0.5 percent to 1,519.29, with only 1.39 billion shares changing hands as of 0502 GMT.
The JPX-Nikkei Index 400 declined 0.6 percent to 13,600.11. (Reporting by Ayai Tomisawa; Editing by Shri Navaratnam)