Nikkei slips, stays near 4-month low amid caution before US data

Thu Feb 6, 2014 1:18am EST

TOKYO, Feb 6 (Reuters) - Japan's Nikkei average fell on
Thursday in a choppy session, erasing earlier gains as investors
stayed cautious before the U.S. nonfarm payrolls report due on
Friday, offsetting buying in companies with strong earnings
prospects like Mazda Motor.
    The Nikkei ended down 0.2 percent at 14,155.12,
hovering near a four-month low of 13,995.86 hit the previous
day.
    Mazda Motor Corp ended up 4.3 percent after soaring
as much as 7.1 percent to a one-week intraday high after the
carmaker raised its annual operating profit forecast by 12.5
percent to 180 billion yen ($1.8 billion). 
    Investors remained cautious with the U.S. nonfarm payrolls
report looming on Friday as last month's surprisingly low jobs
number was discounted by many as an outlier negatively affected
by the severe weather.
    On Wednesday, the ADP National Employment Report showed U.S.
private employers added 175,000 jobs in January, just shy of
analysts' expectations.  
    The Topix ended flat at 1,162.37. 
    The JPX-Nikkei Index 400, an index launched this
year comprised of firms with high return on equity and strong
corporate governance, dropped 0.2 percent to 10,506.11.
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