Nikkei steady as China's stimulus underpins; focus on earnings

domingo 19 de abril de 2015 22:35 GYT

* JFE Holdings, Mazda among firms announcing earnings this
    * Panasonic up after report saying net profit likely jumped
70 pct

    By Ayai Tomisawa
    TOKYO, April 20 (Reuters) - Japanese stocks edged up in a
choppy Monday morning, pulling back up from a two-week low as
China's latest stimulus step  offset weakness in U.S. and
European shares.
    The Nikkei 225 gained 0.1 percent to 19,678.59 in
mid-morning trade after dropping to as low as 19,474.23, the
weakest level since April 6.
    "There's no need for markets to worry too much because of
the weakness in global stocks on Friday," said Norihiro Fujito,
senior investment strategist at Mitsubishi UFJ Morgan Stanley
     He said China's latest step to shore up its economy
underpinned Japanese stocks.
    China's central bank on Sunday cut the amount of cash that
banks must hold as reserves, the second industry-wide cut in two
months, adding more liquidity to the world's second-biggest
economy to help spur bank lending and combat slowing growth.
    That news came after global markets were roiled when Chinese
regulators said on Friday that they would allow fund managers to
lend shares for short-selling, and would also expand the number
of stocks investors can short sell, in a bid to raise the supply
of securities in the market. 
    For this week, investors are focused on companies' full-year
forecasts when they release earnings results for the year ended
    Exporters were weaker, with Toyota Motor Corp 
falling 0.6 percent and Honda Motor Co dropping 0.7
    Shares in the pharmaceutical sector rose after
falling 1.8 percent last week. Eisai Co gained 2.0
percent and Shionogi & Co added 1.0 percent.
    Panasonic Corp rose 1.9 percent after the Nikkei
business daily reported that its net profit likely soared 70
percent to about 200 billion yen.
    Companies including JFE Holdings and Mazda Motor
Corp are scheduled to release their earnings this week.
    The broader Topix dropped 0.2 percent to 1,585.29,
and the JPX-Nikkei Index 400 shed 0.2 percent to

 (Editing by Shri Navaratnam)