Nikkei down 0.2 pct despite solid economic data
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TOKYO Nov 13 (Reuters) - Japan's Nikkei average fell 0.2 percent on Tuesday as concerns over subprime problems and selling of oil-related shares such as Mitsubishi Corp (8058.T) on lower crude futures outweighed buying spurred by solid economic growth figures.
"After seven straight losing sessions, there are signs of shares being oversold on technical factors and valuations," said Takashi Ushio, head of the investment strategy division at Marusan Securities. "But there are few market factors to drive up stock prices."
Investors were encouraged to pick up recently battered shares after data showed Japan's economy grew 0.6 percent in the July-September quarter, beating a consensus market forecast for a 0.4 percent expansion.
Buying led by bank shares pushed the Nikkei into positive territory, but sellers dominated by the end of the morning session, readying the Nikkei for an eighth straight losing session.
"Although bank stocks are solid today, investors are hesitant to keep buying them until they see how much impact the subprime problems have on the Japanese banks," Ushio said.
Japan's major financial firms are set to announce their earnings in the days ahead, beginning with Mizuho Financial Group Inc (8411.T) on Wednesday.
Trade was moderate, with 998 million shares changing hands, compared with last week's morning average of 975 million shares.
Declining shares outnumbered advancers by 883 to 732.
Japan's three largest banks bounced. Sumitomo Mitsui Financial Group (8316.T) rose 0.4 percent to 737,000 yen, advancing for the first time in nine sessions. The banks lost more than 20 percent in the past eight sessions.
Mizuho gained 1.4 percent to 525,000 yen and Mitsubishi UFJ Financial Group (8306.T) gained 2.3 percent to 924 yen, both rising for the first time in five sessions.
Trading company Mitsubishi lost 2.8 percent to 3,130 yen after U.S. crude futures CLc1 fell for a second day. Rival Mitsui & Co (8031.T) also shed 1.9 percent to 2,590 yen. The two companies hold stakes in overseas oil fields.
Casio Computer Co Ltd (6952.T) surged 12.7 percent to 1,260 yen after financial information service firm Fisco Ltd. said on Tuesday that Merrill Lynch had upgraded the electronics maker to "buy" from "neutral" and set a target price of 1,500 yen.
Toto Ltd (5332.T), Japan's largest toilet manufacturer, surged 8.6 percent to 822 yen after Credit Suisse upgraded its rating to "outperform" from "neutral".
Isuzu Motors Ltd (7202.T) dived 7.9 percent to 503 yen after the Japanese truck maker posted a 16 percent fall in first-half operating profit as a sharp drop in truck sales in Japan, North America and Thailand overshadowed a rise in oil-rich markets. [ID:nT332310] (Reporting by Taiga Uranaka; editing by Sophie Hardach)
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