December 1, 2017 / 2:46 AM / 16 days ago

Nikkei edges down in choppy trade; Sharp soars

TOKYO, Dec 1 (Reuters) - Japan’s Nikkei share average edged down on Friday morning, trimming earlier gains in choppy trade and led lower by real estate stocks, though Sharp Corp soared after it announced a return to the bourse’s main board.

Traders said that the market may stay sluggish on Friday as the U.S. Senate delayed voting on a Republican tax overhaul, and the news hurt sentiment during Asian trade.

The Nikkei, which opened up 0.8 percent, turned negative and was down 0.1 percent to 22,695.83 in midmorning trade. For the week, the index has gained 0.6 percent so far.

Realtors Mitsui Fudosan declined 1.6 percent and Mitsubishi Estate shed 1.0 percent.

Oil and steel stocks outperformed, with Showa Shell Sekiyu rising 1.0 percent and Nippon Steel & Sumitomo Metal Corp soaring 2.1 percent.

Sharp Corp soared more than 8 percent after the company said that it will return to the Tokyo Stock Exchange first section on Dec. 7. The company was demoted to the second section on Aug. 1, 2016 after booking negative net assets after it was hit by falling sales of smartphone panels and restructuring costs.

Exporters were mixed, with Honda Motor Co rising 0.4 percent, Panasonic Corp shedding 1.4 percent and Nintendo Co falling 0.2 percent.

The broader Topix declined 0.1 percent to 1,789.65. (Reporting by Ayai Tomisawa; Editing by Sam Holmes)

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