Nikkei closes little changed as upbeat earnings offset coronavirus woes

TOKYO, Oct 27 (Reuters) - Japanese shares ended nearly flat on Tuesday, as strong earnings from camera and copy machine maker Canon helped counter weakness in travel and real estate stocks following a lower finish on Wall Street.

After dropping as much as 1.1% in early trade, the Nikkei share average was nearly flat at 23,485.80 while the broader Topix lost 0.09% to 1,617.53.

The market got support from upbeat earnings reports, with Canon jumping over 8% after raising its annual earnings outlook and legal portal service operator reversing course to rise 7.5% on upbeat quarterly results.

Overall sentiment, however, was weaker as growing worries over a second wave of infections in the United States and Europe pressured Wall Street overnight.

Declining the most, the airline index dropped 3.7% as investors focused on the kind of support airlines would get to survive the COVID-19 pandemic.

Japan Airline lost 4.27% as the Nikkei business daily reported it was likely to post a record net loss of about 230 billion yen ($2.20 billion) for the fiscal year ending March 2021. It is also reportedly seeking 300 billion yen in funding.

Smaller peer Star Flyer ended 0.9% lower, having lost as much as 7.0% after a report that it may sell new shares to a fund.

Railway operators also struggled, with West Japan Railway and Central Japan Railway falling around 3% each.

Real estate companies Mitsubishi Fudosan and Sumitomo Realty fell 2.4% and 1.75%, respectively.

The REIT (real estate investment trust) index fell to a three-month low before some bargain-hunting helped it erase losses to finish nearly flat.

Shares of Nidec, which have doubled from a low hit in March, dropped 1.8% even as the motor maker lifted its annual earnings estimate. (Reporting by Hideyuki Sano and Eimi Yamamitsu; Editing by Aditya Soni)