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Japan shares slip on weak earnings, caution ahead of U.S. jobs data

TOKYO, Aug 7 (Reuters) – Japanese shares fell on Friday as the market reacted to a string of disappointing earnings and forecasts, while investors also took a cautious stance ahead of the U.S. non-farm payroll data for July and a long weekend.

The benchmark Nikkei share average fell 0.64% to 22,273.62 by the midday break.

Japan stock markets will be closed on Monday for a public holiday for observing ‘Mountain Day’.

U.S. non-farm payroll due later in the day is widely expected to show jobs creation in the United States slowed in July from the previous month, indicating a resurgence in COVID-10 infections is undermining the world’s largest economy.

SUMCO Corp, which produces equipment for making semiconductors, slid 9.77% after reporting a 26.8% decline in its January-September net profit.

SUMCO’s fall dragged down its peer Advantest Corp by 4.04%, while Screen Holdings Co Ltd and Tokyo Electron Ltd lost 4.01% and 3.2%, respectively.

Shiseido Co Ltd slumped 9.3% after the cosmetics firm forecast a net loss and lower dividend for the full year.

Nikon Corp dipped 8.32% to its lowest since May 1995, as it forecast an operating loss of 75 billion yen ($710.56 million) for the fiscal year.

But not all earnings were bad, as game and electronic commerce industries saw a surge in demand from people staying at home due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Nintendo Co Ltd rose above 2.42% after posting a five-fold jump in quarterly profit.

Square Enix Holdings Co Ltd spiked 13.87% and marked its record high, after the gaming company posted a 241.4% increase in its operating profit for the three-month period ended June 2020.

Mercari Inc also jumped 13.52% to its highest level since June 2018, as the flea market app operator logged a better-than-expected operating loss for the year ended June 30.

The broader Topix lost 0.23% to 1,546.32. ($1 = 105.5500 yen) (Reporting by Eimi Yamamitsu; Editing by Rashmi Aich)


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