Japanese stocks rise on earnings optimism, Toyota earnings in focus

Aug 4 (Reuters) - Japanese stocks gained on Thursday, tracking positive Wall Street sentiment overnight, as investors reacted to earnings from key companies reported the previous day.

Japan’s Nikkei share average was up 0.54% at 27,892.68 at the break after briefly breaking through the 28,000 barrier, which it hasn’t closed above since June 9, 2022.

The broader TOPIX index was more muted, down 0.08% at the break, after bouncing between positive and negative territory.

Toyota Motor Co, Japan’s largest automaker, is scheduled to report its earnings later in the day. That appeared to weigh on investors in early trading.

“There’s a strong sense that people are waiting to see Toyota’s results,” said a market participant at a domestic securities firm.

Another automaker, Subaru Corp, was one of the best performers on the Nikkei in the morning session, gaining 7.25% after a positive earnings report and optimistic comments from its president about future sales in the United States.

Of the Nikkei’s 225 components, 91 made gains, 129 made losses, and five were flat.

Casio Computer Co Ltd gained the most, adding 7.59% after forecasting stronger profits for its current financial year.

Other technology companies helped the Nikkei after the Philadelphia SE Semiconductor Index gained 2.65% overnight. Sumitomo Electric Industries was up 5.32% and Tokyo Electron Ltd added 3.62%.

The worst performer was Z Holdings Corp, the operator of Yahoo Japan and Line, which fell 10.95% after releasing its earnings.

Investors also eyed video game maker Nintendo after it announced a year-on-year slump in Switch console sales, but the stock only slid 0.09%. The company’s forecast for the current fiscal year remains unchanged. (Reporting by Sam Byford and Tokyo markets team; editing by Uttaresh.V)