(Corrects timeframe in the 1st paragraph to Tuesday, not Monday)
By Joshua Hunt
TOKYO, Nov 10 (Reuters) - Japanese stocks fell on Tuesday after losses on Wall Street and soft data from China hurt short-term sentiment, while some investors took profits on recent gains.
The Nikkei share average lost 0.6 percent to end the morning session at 19,525.87.
“We’ve seen an opening leg down on sentiment from Wall Street’s bad day, but the good thing is the Nikkei looks quite sturdy, holding its spot around 19,500 points,” said Gavin Parry, managing director at Parry International Trading.
“I can’t see the Nikkei being sold off when the yen’s still holding the 123 handle,” he said, referring to the weakness of the Japanese currency, a factor that’s boosted shares of exporters.
On Monday, U.S. stocks slipped into negative territory for the year as Wall Street braced for an interest-rate hike and worried over weak Chinese trade data unveiled on Sunday.
Fresh China concerns came during the Tuesday morning session, when data from the National Bureau of Statistics showed Chinese consumer price index rose 1.3 percent year-on-year in October, compared with a 1.6 percent increase in September. A Reuters poll had expected a rise of 1.5 percent.
Data also showed China’s producer prices declined for a 44th straight month, as falling commodity prices and weak demand add to deflationary pressure.
The dollar continued its strength against the yen, which market players saw as a sign that short-term concerns could give way to long-term gains.
“As a December U.S. rate hike seems increasingly likely, and increasingly justified, it’s hard to escape the conclusion that the U.S. dollar is going to appreciate against the yen,” said Stefan Worrall, cash equities manager at Credit Suisse.
“If the yen weakening continues so will the Japan rally and the policy mix we’ve seen with Abenomics.”
Screen Holdings Co Ltd climbed 6.1 percent after reporting that its April-September operating profit jumped 60 percent year-on-year to 10.8 billion yen ($87.69 million).
Bank of Yokohama Ltd shares gained 1.6 percent after it raised its year-end dividend forecast to 8.5 yen per share from 5.5 yen per share.
Marui Group Co Ltd rose 1.6 percent, adding to gains the previous day when Nomura raised its rating on the stock to ‘buy’ from ‘neutral’.
The broader Topix shed 0.7 percent to end the morning session at 1,579.31 with all but three of its 33 subindexes in negative territory.
The JPX-Nikkei Index 400 slipped 0.7 percent to 14,212.44.
$1 = 123.16 yen Reporting by Joshua Hunt; Editing by Richard Borsuk