Nikkei ticks up after China PMI data, Panasonic plunges
* Analysts say Sharp and Sony's results priced in * Panasonic slumps 20 pct after huge net loss forecast * China-related stocks surge * TDK and Fujifilm fall after cutting their outlook By Ayai Tomisawa TOKYO, Nov 1 (Reuters) - Japan's Nikkei average edged up on Thursday as a pick-up in Chinese manufacturing helped heavy machinery makers and shippers, offsetting weakness in Panasonic Corp. China-related shares such as construction equipment makers Komatsu Ltd and Hitachi Construction as well as shipper Nippon Yusen lent support on hopes that China's economic recovery is finally gaining some traction. Komatsu added 3.1 percent while Hitachi Construction gained 4.4 percent and Nippon Yusen surged 4.0 percent. The Nikkei rose 0.2 percent to 8,946.87, and the broader Topix index added 0.1 percent to 743.32. Volume was relatively high, with 1.85 billion shares changing hands, down from Wednesday's nearly two-week high of 2.04 billion. Despite poor earnings released by Sony Corp and Sharp Corp after the closing bell, analysts said the market was unlikely to overreact because bad results were already priced in, analysts said. "Investors had expected that Sharp would post massive losses and Sony's result would not be bright either, and Panasonic had dragged down the mood for consumer electronics," said Norihiro Fujito, senior investment strategist at Mitsubishi UFJ Securities. "The impact on the overall market will be limited tomorrow." Sharp dropped 1.7 percent after two sources said the struggling TV maker is planning to revise its full-year net loss forecast to 450 billion yen from its previous outlook for a 250 billion yen loss. Sony shed 4.1 percent to 915 yen, dragged down by Panasonic, which tumbled 20 percent to 414 yen after it forecast a 765 billion yen ($9.6 billion) net loss for the business year, nearly matching last year's record net loss. TDK Corp dropped 4.7 percent to 2,856 yen and Fujifilm Holdings Corp slid 4.4 percent to 1,287 yen after cutting their full-year outlooks amid sluggish global growth, but mobile operator Softbank Corp gained 3.6 percent to 2,618 yen after posting better-than-expected quarterly results. "It's quite clear that the earnings have been characterised by sharp downward revision in exporters or companies that were expecting a second-half recovery," said Stefan Worrall, director of equity cash sales at Credit Suisse in Tokyo. "The reaction to many of these revisions are actually not that negative," he said, adding the market had been pricing in bad numbers for a while. Mazda Motor Corp cut its earnings outlook but surged 11 percent as its revised full-year operating profit forecast of 25 billion yen was ahead of a market consensus of 23 billion yen. As of Wednesday, some 56 percent of the 64 Nikkei companies that have reported have undershot market expectations, according to Thomson Reuters StarMine. That compared with 54 percent in the previous quarter. The benchmark Nikkei is up 5.7 percent this year but lags behind a 12.3 percent rise in the S&P 500 and a 10.5 percent gain in the pan-European STOXX Europe 600 index. According to Japan's Ministry of Finance, foreign investors turned net sellers of Japanese stocks last week, with a net sale of 15.4 billion yen of shares, after a week of net buying.
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