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Japanese shares fall ahead of U.S. holiday; chip, energy stocks weigh

TOKYO, June 20 (Reuters) - Japanese shares fell on Monday, with chip-related and energy stocks leading declines, while investors struggled to find market moving cues due to a U.S. holiday.

By 0158 GMT, the Nikkei share average had fallen 1.4% to 25,606.65, snapping an early gain of as much as 0.7%. The broader Topix was down 1.24% to 1,813.18.

"The indexes gained earlier in the session because investors sought to buy cheap stocks but the trading activities shrank as they struggled to find market moving cues," said Chihiro Ohta, assistant general manager at the investment research and investor services at SMBC Nikko Securities.

"The momentum didn't last long also due to U.S. market's holiday."

Oil explorers tanked 8.76% and led declines of the Tokyo Stock Exchange's 33 industry sub-indexes, after oil prices tumbled over the weekend.

Inpex (IPXHF) lost 8.95%.

Technology and growth stocks dragged the market on concerns about rising interest rates overseas, a strategist at a Japanese brokerate said.

Chip-making equipment maker Tokyo Electron (TOELF) fell 5.87% and dragged the Nikkei the most. Silicon wafer maker Shin-Etsu Chemical (SHECF) slipped 4.82%.

Auto and part makers rose after the yen tumbled against the dollar over the weekend.

Subaru rose 2.38% and was the top gainer on the Nikkei. Toyota Motor (TM) and Honda Motor (HMC) rose 0.92% and 0.67%, respectively.

Heavyweights SoftBank Group Corp (SFTBF) rose 1.92 % and Recruit Holdings (RCRRF) gained 1.83%.

There were 32 advancers on the Nikkei index against 192 decliners. The volume of shares traded on the Tokyo Stock Exchange's main board was 0.56 billion, compared to the average of 1.36 billion in the past 30 days. (Reporting by Junko Fujita; Editing by Rashmi Aich)

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