TOKYO, Sept 7 (Reuters) - Japanese stocks eked out small gains on Monday after bouncing back from a seven-month low in choppy trade, driven mostly by moves in Chinese shares.
A mixed U.S. jobs report on Friday added to the haze, offering little clarity on when the Federal Reserve might raise interest rates.
The Nikkei share average rose 0.4 percent to close at 17,860.47, though it threatened to erase its year-to-date gains in early trade.
Trading volume was light for most of the day, but picked up during late afternoon trading. Decliners outnumbered gainers by 1060 to 724, highlighting weak market sentiment.
Auto makers with exposure to the U.S. outperformed, helped in part by a steadily weakening yen. Toyota Motor Corp. and Honda Motor Co. each gained 1.2 percent.
Toshiba Corp. shares gained 1.8 percent after the electronics conglomerate released its twice-delayed earnings for the last fiscal year, easing fears that the company might miss its deadline and have its stock placed on a watch list.
Nippon Kayaku shares soared 12 percent after reports the company may be ready to request government approval to sell its new cancer treatment as early as next spring.
The broader Topix edged up 0.1 percent to 1,445.65, but was weighed down by its real estate subindex which lost 1.3 percent. Heiwa Real Estate plunged 13.9 percent after Friday's announcement that it would lose its place on the Nikkei 225 index effective October 1.
The JPX-Nikkei Index 400 edged up 0.1 percent to 12,977.78. (Additional reporting by Ayai Tomisawa; Editing by Shri Navaratnam)