TOKYO, Sept 8 (Reuters) - Japan's Nikkei share average languished on Thursday, as financial stocks weakened after the Bank of Japan deputy governor said the central bank will not rule out deepening negative interest rates.
Meanwhile, Nintendo Co was under the spotlight, surging 13 percent with heavy volume after it announced at Apple Inc's iPhone launch event of the debut of its popular game franchise Super Mario Bros on the iPhone.
The Nikkei ended 0.3 percent lower at 16,958.77.
"The market was all about Nintendo today," said Chihiro Ohta, general manager of investment research at SMBC Nikko Securities. "Other than Nintendo, people avoided financial shares after Nakaso's comment, but most investors did not want to take large positions before big central bank events later this month."
Bank of Japan Deputy Governor Hiroshi Nakaso said the BOJ's comprehensive assessment of its policy effects to take place later this month will look at ways to accelerate achievement of its 2 percent inflation target.
Financial shares took a hit, with Dai-ichi Life Insurance Co dropping 2.0 percent, while both Mitsubishi UFJ Financial Group and Sumitomo Mitsui Financial Group shed 1.3 percent.
The broader Topix slipped 0.3 percent to 1,345.95.
The JPX-Nikkei Index 400 was 0.4 percent lower at 12,070.28. (Reporting by Ayai Tomisawa; Editing by Jacqueline Wong)