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Asia, News

Japan stocks drift lower ahead of Toyota earnings

By Stanley White

TOKYO, Aug 6 (Reuters) – Japanese shares edged lower in choppy trade on Thursday, weighed down by concerns about corporate profits ahead of Toyota Motor Corp’s earnings announcement later in the day.

The Nikkei index ticked down 0.47% to 22,408.67 by 0213 GMT, with consumer staples and technology companies falling the most.

The broader Topix fell 0.39% to 1,548.53.

A series of disappointing earnings and forecasts from domestic companies due to the COVID-19 pandemic have weighed on the Japanese market for the past few sessions.

Although some investors argue that the decline in corporate profits has bottomed out and earnings will gradually recover.

Slated to report on Thursday, Toyota will announce its results in the afternoon, while Games maker Nintendo Co Ltd and Kobe Steel will release earnings after the closing bell.

The underperformers among the top 30 core Topix were automaker Honda Motor Co Ltd, down 3.80%, followed by skin care and cleaning product maker Kao Corp, losing 1.79%.

Honda fell after it forecast a 68% decrease in annual operating profit and posted its worst quarterly operating loss since the March 2009 quarter.

The stocks that gained the most among the Topix 30 names were commodities trader Mitsui & Co Ltd, up 1.87%, followed by insurer Tokio Marine Holdings Inc.

There were 156 advancers on the Nikkei index against 68 decliners.

The volume of shares traded on the Tokyo Stock Exchange’s main board was 0.42 billion, compared with the average of 1.2 billion in the past 30 days. (Reporting by Stanley White; Editing by Aditya Soni)

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