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Japanese Shares Gain on Upbeat Earnings, Benign Fed

TOKYO, July 29 (Reuters) - Japanese shares edged up on Thursday as Nissan Motor and some semiconductor-related firms reported surprisingly strong earnings, while the U.S. Federal Reserve indicated it was in no hurry to withdraw monetary policy support.

Nikkei share average gained 0.36% to 27,677.24 while the broader Topix added 0.17% to 1,922.91, bouncing back from Wednesday’s fall.

Fed Chair Jerome Powell said the U.S. job market still had “some ground to cover” before it would be time to pull back from its economic support, underpinning the market.

“Powell’s press conference was well balanced and left the Fed with the flexibility to act according to economic data, fiscal stimulus and virus developments,” said John Vail, chief global strategist at Nikko Asset Management in Tokyo.

“Financial markets did not react very much to the result, and the yen remained relatively stable, which is helpful to Japan’s economy and financial markets.”

Positive earnings outweighed concerns about the worsening pandemic, after daily coronavirus cases hit a record high in Japan and its capital city.

Nissan Motor gained 7% after the carmaker reported a surprise first-quarter operating profit and raised its outlook, forecasting a return to net profit after two consecutive years of losses.

Advantest jumped 6.0% as the manufacturer of test machines for chip-making announced bumper earnings and a share buyback.

Screen Holdings added 3.8% after the manufacturer of chip-making machines forecast annual profit slightly above expectations, citing strong demand.

However, electronic parts maker TDK fell 4.1% after its quarterly results fell short of market expectations.

Cyberagent Inc tumbled 6.9% as investors took profits following the mobile videogame firm’s strong quarterly results, boosted by sales of a popular game it launched in February.

Outside earnings, Sony rose 2.8% after the company said its PlayStation 5 gaming console outstripped sales of its predecessor since launching last November.

(Reporting by Hideyuki Sano; Editing by Ramakrishnan M.)

Source: Reuters

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