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Japanese shares edge lower on corporate earnings

Japanese shares

The Nikkei share average dropped 0.46% to 28,991.89, while the Topix declined 0.76% to 1,903.55

Japanese shares edged lower on Tuesday as a slew of corporate earnings failed to meet investors’ high expectations for strong profit recovery and as the country struggles with containing the COVID-19 pandemic.

The Nikkei share average dropped 0.46% to 28,991.89, while the broader Topix declined 0.76% to 1,903.55. The market did not react to the Bank of Japan’s (BOJ) widely-expected decision of keeping policy unchanged that have proved to be a drag on the market after the Nikkei had rallied to a three-decade high earlier this year on hopes of economic recovery.

Dai-ichi Sankyo shed 3.5% after the drugmaker gave a lower-than-expected forecast for the current year to March, while Hulic declined 4.4% after the property developer missed expectations. Companies with relatively strong earnings and positive surprises were not spared from sell-off, with camera and medical equipment maker Canon failing to keep earlier gains.

Canon finished 1.3% lower, despite its annual operating profit forecast topping market consensus. Brokerage Monex shed 1.5% even as it reported a surge in profit due to the rise in bitcoin. Losses came after industry bellwether Yaskawa Electric and Nidec dropped, despite relatively sound earnings earlier this month.

Shares in companies which reported positive earnings are not rising. That means investors’ expectations for corporate outlook are too high, said Takatoshi Itoshima, strategist at Pictet Asset Management.

Japan’s unstable health conditions are also dampening the mood after the government was forced to declare its third state of emergency last week, only one month after it ended the previous one while vaccine rollouts progressed at a snail’s pace.

Bucking the trend, NEC Networks & Systems advanced 4.8% on upbeat earnings.

Renewable energy firm Tess Holdings soared 18.7% in its debut and finished 21.3% above the IPO price, becoming the third most actively traded stock on the entire exchange.

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