(corrects trader’s name in paragraph 10)
TOKYO, Sept 25 (Reuters) - Japanese stocks slipped on Friday morning after weak inflation data and lingering worries over slowing growth in China soured the mood.
Firms exposed to China took a hit, with faltering global demand highlighted by the Japanese government cutting its economic assessment, citing external risks posed by China and an upcoming U.S. interest rate hike.
The Nikkei share average edged down 0.1 percent in morning trade to 17,560.79 at the break. The Tokyo Stock Exchange was closed through Wednesday due to national holidays.
Morning losses in Chinese markets also weighed on Tokyo markets, dragging down China-linked shares.
Factory automation giant Fanuc Corp, which supplies many Chinese factories with assembly-line robotics, fell 4 percent. Kawasaki heavy Industries lost 3.2 percent.
Sharp lost as much as 10 percent, hitting its lowest level since 1975, after the Nikkei business daily reported the electronics maker would extend its operating loss to 30 billion yen ($249.94 million) for the April-September fiscal half.
Market players were unsure on whether further Bank of Japan stimulus might follow on the heels of the weak inflation data, which showed consumer prices fell for the first time since the BOJ launched massive stimulus more than 2 years ago. ID:nL4N11U5EQ]
Some saw Prime Minister Abe’s Thursday speech as a shift away from concrete, market-focused policies and toward domestic social issues ahead of next July’s election. (ID:nT9N10I02Q)
Market participants also remained focused on the potential impact for Japanese companies of Volkwagen’s admission that it rigged emissions tests in its diesel-powered vehicles.
“It’s not yet clear whether Japanese automakers will benefit from the tighter emissions standards likely to come out of this ordeal or whether there will be downside risks due to higher costs,” said Stefan Worrall, cash equities manager at Credit Suisse.
The broader Topix edged up 0.1 percent to 1,428.49 in morning trade and the JPX-Nikkei Index 400 rose 0.1 percent to 12,807.74.
$1 = 120.0300 yen Reporting by Joshua Hunt; Editing by Shri Navaratnam