Japanese stocks fall on dim corporate outlook, chip shares limit losses

TOKYO, Oct 28 (Reuters) - Japanese shares fell on Thursday, as disappointing forecasts from technology companies prompted a sell-off, though gains in heavyweight chip-related companies limited losses.

The Nikkei share average closed 0.96% lower at 28,820.09, while the broader Topix fell 0.7% to 1,999.66.

“I had expected some companies would miss market expectations at this earnings season but downward revisions were a big surprise. That has hurt investor sentiment,” said Shigetoshi Kamada, general manager at the research department at Tachibana Securities.

“Investors are awaiting Toyota’s earnings next week because automakers affect their related industries. At the same time the U.S. Fed’s policy meeting is also a big factor for their sentiment.”

Robot maker Fanuc tumbled 8.66% after cutting outlook for this year, citing shortages of chips and other parts.

Hitachi lost 1.92% as production cut of automakers due to lack of chips had affected the technology conglomerate.

Computer maker Fujitsu fell 8.14% after its outlook missed expectations.

Japanese market also tracked an overnight weaker finish of S&P 500, which ended lower due to a drop in oil prices and a pullback in Treasury yields.

Investors remained cautious about central banks’ rate policies ahead of the Fed’s policy meeting next week, Kamada said.

Meanwhile, the Bank of Japan retained its easy monetary policy settings and projected inflation at well below its 2% target for at least two more years.

On the bright side, silicon wafer maker Shin-Etsu Chemical gained 2.89% and chip-making equipment maker Screen Holdings jumped 8.22% on robust earnings.

Their peers Tokyo Electron gained 2.02% and Advantest jumped 5.03%, limiting overall losses on Nikkei.

Airlines, up 0.56%, was one of the sectors that gained among the exchange’s 33 subindexes amid sharp declines in new cases of COVID-19. (Reporting by Junko Fujita; Editing by Rashmi Aich and Vinay Dwivedi)