TOKYO, Aug 6 (Reuters) - Japanese shares fell on Thursday as
investors stayed away from risky bets amid a largely downbeat
earnings season, though Toyota rose after unexpectedly avoiding
a loss last quarter.
The Nikkei index ended down 0.43% at 22,418.15, with
technology and consumer staples companies falling the most.
The broader Topix fell 0.31% to 1,549.88.
A series of disappointing earnings and forecasts from
companies due to the COVID-19 pandemic have weighed on the
Japanese market for the past few sessions.
Some analysts argue that the decline in corporate profit has
bottomed out and earnings will gradually recover.
Others point to the likelihood of additional U.S. economic
stimulus and work on developing a COVID-19 vaccine as reasons
not to be overly pessimistic.
"The earnings from Japan so far have been really bad, but
this is the bottom and earnings are not going to get any worse,"
said Takashi Hiroki, chief strategist at Monex Securities.
"Any recovery in earnings, regardless of how gradual it is,
will be better than this crop of earnings reports."
The underperformers among the top 30 core Topix were Honda
Motor Co Ltd down 6.31%, followed by East Japan Railway
Co losing 2.47%.
Honda fell after the automaker 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 Toyota Motor Corp up 2.29%, followed by
commodities trader Mitsui & Co Ltd.
Toyota reported a 13.9 billion yen ($131.73 million)
operating profit for the three months ended June, which was its
worst in nine years but still better than expectations for a 179
billion yen loss.
There were 100 advancers in the Nikkei index against 122
The volume of shares traded on the Tokyo Stock Exchange's
main board was 1.08 billion, compared with the average
of 1.2 billion in the past 30 days.
(Reporting by Stanley White; Editing by Aditya Soni and Sherry