June 28, 2016 / 2:37 AM / 2 years ago

Nikkei edges down in volatile trade; automakers weigh

* Rising U.S. futures supports mood - analysts

* Takata tumbles after air bag linked to fatal crash in Malaysia

* Shimamura soars on strong quarterly profit

By Ayai Tomisawa

TOKYO, June 28 (Reuters) - Japanese stocks weakened in volatile trade on Tuesday morning, with automakers leading the declines on growing worries about the global economic fallout from Britain’s vote to leave the European Union.

The Nikkei opened lower and dropped more than 2 percent at one point, but it also flirted with positive territory briefly. At 0213 GMT, the Nikkei was down 0.3 percent to 15,261.82.

Analysts said a pause in sterling’s fall offered some respite.

“Short-covering in the currency market and U.S. futures market is limiting selling,” said Yutaka Miura, senior technical analyst at Mizuho Securities. “But overall sentiment remains fragile.”

The pound rose 0.4 percent to $1.3288 after falling as far as $1.3122 overnight, a low not seen since 1985.

S&P 500 futures, Nasdaq futures and Dow Jones industrial average futures were up about 0.7, indicating Wall Street will open higher after a sharp sell-off on the previous day.

Japanese automakers underperformed, with the transport equipment sector falling 2.6 percent, the third worst performer on the board.

Toyota Motor Corp dropped 3.2 percent and Honda Motor Co shed 1.5 percent, while Mazda Motor Corp tumbled 4.7 percent.

“Until companies get a clear sense of what the impact will be on their earnings, a strong yen will likely to stay as the reason for selling,” said Kazuhiro Takahashi, an equity strategist at Daiwa Securities.

Takata Corp dived 6 percent after Honda Motor Co said the driver-side airbag inflator ruptured during a fatal crash in Malaysia was possibly the third death this year in the Southeast Asian country linked to airbags from Takata.

Shimamura Co soared 8 percent after discount clothing chain operator posted a 44.2 percent increase to 7.98 billion yen in its net profit for the March-May quarter.

The broader Topix shed 0.6 percent to 1,218.85 and the JPX-Nikkei Index 400 declined 0.5 percent to 11,008.99. (Editing by Simon Cameron-Moore)

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