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By Joshua Hunt
TOKYO, Nov 24 (Reuters) - Japanese stocks slipped in thin trade on Tuesday after the Tokyo Stock Exchange opened following a three-day holiday weekend.
The Nikkei share average ended the morning session down 0.1 percent at 19,863.51 points.
Market participants said activity would remain tepid throughout the week, with U.S. markets subdued ahead of Thursday’s Thanksgiving holiday.
“We’re post ‘Japan Inc’ earnings now and the focus is back on China where local brokers are talking about market reforms, many of which will have a direct market impact,,” said Gavin Parry, managing director of Parry International Trading
“There’s also a continued focus on the U.S. Federal Reserve, with a lot of sell-side banter about quantifying what level of rate increases brokers are expecting. The shortened trading week should mean low volume with a very domestic focus, but the long-term outlook is still good for the Nikkei as long as the yen continues to weaken against the dollar.”
The Topix subindex for electric power & gas stocks shed 1.3 percent during the morning session, while rubber products fell by 1 percent as Japanese markets caught up with Monday’s sharp drop in Shanghai rubber futures, which occurred during Japan’s public holiday.
Bridgestone Corp shares fell by 1.1 percent.
Sharp Corp shares bucked the weakness and soared 13.6 percent after Kyodo reported that a state-backed fund might invest money in the company if Japanese banks agree to write off an unspecified amount of its debt.
The broader Topix slipped 0.2 percent to end the morning session at 1,600.55 and the JPX-Nikkei Index 400 edged down 0.2 percent to 14,434.89. (Reporting by Joshua Hunt; Editing by Kim Coghill)