Japanese stocks pare losses on earnings optimism, down for the week

Fri Jan 17, 2014 1:25am EST

TOKYO, Jan 17 (Reuters) - The Nikkei stock average dropped
on Friday as disappointing U.S. corporate earnings hurt
sentiment, but the market pared its losses on optimism over
Japan's third-quarter reporting season due to kick off later
this month.
     Mitsubishi Motors Corp outperformed the market,
ending 10 percent higher as some short-term investors cut their
short positions in the Japanese automaker that they had been
building up ahead of a public share offering. 
    The Nikkei average ended 0.1 percent lower at
15,734.46, after earlier falling as much as 0.8 percent. For the
week, the index dropped 1.1 percent.
    The broader Topix gained 0.2 percent to 1,297.39.
    The JPX-Nikkei Index 400, a recently introduced
gauge comprised of firms with high return on equity and strong
corporate governance, edged up 0.2 percent to 11,712.09.
    In afternoon trade, Nippon Steel & Sumitomo Metal Corp's
 widened its losses after a fire erupted at its steel
plant in central Japan. The stock ended 1.5 percent lower.