* Volume likely to be subdued with holidays in China
* Japanese companies’ weak earnings hurt sentiment - analyst
* Toyota underperforms after reporting weak 3Q results
By Ayai Tomisawa
TOKYO, Feb 8 (Reuters) - Japan’s Nikkei share average fell to a more than a two-week low on Monday on concerns about weak earnings and after the U.S. jobs report failed to give clues on the Federal Reserve’s monetary policy outlook.
The Nikkei dropped 1.2 percent to 16,625.87 points by midmorning after falling as low as 16,552.30 earlier, the lowest since Jan. 22. It has fallen for five straight sessions.
Trading volume is likely to be subdued with many regional markets in Asia closed for the Lunar New Year holiday.
On Friday, U.S. employment gains slowed more than expected in January as the boost to hiring from unseasonably mild weather faded, but rising wages and an unemployment rate at an eight-year low suggested the labor market recovery remains firm.
Analysts said that despite a rebound in the dollar against the yen, the move is not strong enough to trigger buying in exporters. The greenback rebounded to 116.920, from a 2-1/2 week trough of 116.285.
“We didn’t get much clues on future U.S. rate hikes from the jobs report, so investors are having hard times deciding their positions,” said Takuya Takahashi, a strategist at Daiwa Securities.
“Japanese companies’ earnings reports are not helping sentiment, either, so the market may stay sluggish for a while.”
He said that with companies reporting tepid earnings for the Oct-Dec quarter and cutting their full-year forecasts, investors are bracing for the market to price them in.
Toyota Motor Corp underperformed the market, stumbling 4.5 percent after reporting a lower-than-expected operating profit for the Oct-Dec quarter.
Nonferrous metal smelting company Dowa Holdings dived 17 percent after the it cut the operating profit outlook to 35.5 billion yen from 38.5 billion yen for the year ending March due to falling nonferrous metal prices and a slowdown in demand from China and Southeast Asia.
Bucking the weakness, Hakuhodo DY Holdings soared 6.7 percent after the advertising agency raised its operating profit forecast to 41.5 billion yen from 38.8 billion yen for the year ending March.
The broader Topix shed 0.7 percent to 1,360.83 and the JPX-Nikkei Index 400 declined 0.5 percent to 12,293.37. (Editing by Kim Coghill)