TOKYO, Jan 5 (Reuters) – Japanese stocks slipped on their first trading day of 2015 as risk appetite was soured by weak prospects for global growth, offsetting gains in airline stocks which rose after crude oil prices dropped to fresh 5-1/2-year lows.

The Nikkei benchmark ended 0.2 percent lower at 17,408.71 points, giving up earlier gains which were fueled by speculation that the Bank Of Japan was buying stocks.

In morning trade, it dropped more than 1 percent to its lowest since Dec. 18.

The broader Topix shed 0.5 percent to 1,401.09, while the JPX-Nikkei Index 400 fell 0.6 percent to 12,697.59.

(Reporting by Ayai Tomisawa; Editing by Kim Coghill)