Japanese shares flat as BOJ-inspired rally runs out of steam
* Investors take profits after big gains over last 2 days
* Uncertainty on earning growth next financial year caps gains
* Real estate, non-banks down; banks rebound
By Hideyuki Sano
TOKYO, Feb 2 (Reuters) - Japanese shares slipped from three-week highs on Tuesday as investors locked in profits after two straight days of big gains following the Bank of Japan's decision to introduce negative interest rates late last week.
The Nikkei ended morning trade flat at 17,864.70, having fallen as much as 1.0 percent earlier in the day. It had gained 4.8 percent in the previous two sessions, hitting a three-week high of 17,905.37 on Monday.
The broader Topix fell 0.1 percent to 1,461.85.
While monetary easing by the Japanese central bank and a rebound in oil prices and other risk assets in global markets supported Japanese shares over the last two days, concerns about earnings are capping further gains.
"The expectation of solid earning growth in Japanese firms were the fundamental reason investors were buying Japanese shares. But that is increasingly uncertain now," said Hiroshi Ono, the head of equity investment at Sumitomo Life Insurance. Continuación...