TOKYO, March 16 (Reuters) – Japan’s Nikkei share average ended almost flat on Monday as profit-taking set in after it had hit a 15-year high earlier ahead of central bank policy meetings in Japan and the United States later this week.

The Nikkei share average closed at 19,246.06, having peaked at 19,349.20 in early trade as investors bought banks and other domestic demand oriented shares.

Investors took profits in recent gainers such as drugmakers , rubber product makers and railway and truck companies.

The broader Topix fell 0.1 percent but gainers outnumbered decliners by 955 to 790.

The JPX-Nikkei Index 400 dipped 0.2 percent.

(Additional reporting by Tomo Uetake; Editing by Simon Cameron-Moore)