Nikkei gains on Yellen comments; Nintendo hit by wider-than-expected loss
* Nintendo tumbles to lowest since June 2013 * Toyota, Takeda to report earnings later in the day * Chinese trade data eyed By Ayai Tomisawa TOKYO, May 8 (Reuters) - Japan's Nikkei share average rose on Thursday, recovering from a three-week low hit the previous day after comments by the U.S. Federal Reserve chief helped investor sentiment, but Nintendo slid after posting a wider-than-expected loss. Nintendo Co fell 5.6 percent to 10,070 yen, its lowest since June 2013, after posting a 46.4 billion yen ($456 million) operating loss for the year ended in March. That was bigger than its previous projection of a 35 billion yen loss, due to dismal Wii U sales. Markets were focused on Chinese trade data due out during the morning session, after exports unexpectedly fell for the second straight month in March and import growth dropped sharply. The Nikkei was up 1 percent at 14,168.99 in midmorning trade. On Wednesday, it tumbled 2.9 percent and posted its biggest daily drop since mid-March. Traders took heart from comments by U.S. Fed Chair Janet Yellen signalling continued support for the economy. Yellen's comments enabled investors to shift attention to what may be an easing of the tensions in Ukraine, as Russian President Vladimir Putin called on pro-Moscow separatists in Ukraine to postpone a vote on secession just five days before it was to be held. "Overseas factors seem to have stabilised sentiment a bit, but there isn't much long buying from foreigners yet," said Hikaru Sato, a senior technical analyst at Daiwa Securities. "The benchmark will likely be contained in a range of 14,000-14,500 for the time being." Japanese corporate earnings reports were also in the spotlight. Companies reporting results on Thursday include Toyota Motor Corp, Takeda Pharmaceutical CO and Toshiba Corp. Recently battered index heavyweight stocks gained, with Fast Retailing Co adding 2.6 percent, Tokyo Electron Ltd gaining 2.7 percent and Toyota rising 0.6 percent. The broader Topix added 0.6 percent to 1,158.32, while the new JPX-Nikkei Index 400 advanced 0.7 percent to 10,551.40. ($1 = 101.7150 Japanese Yen) (Editing by Chris Gallagher)
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