August 9, 2016 / 2:22 AM / 2 years ago

Nikkei little changed, Brother surges, strong yen hits drugmakers

* Nikkei up 0.1 pct, early rise to 2-wk high invites profit taking

* Market lacks momentum after US jobs data boost, BOJ eyed warily

By Shinichi Saoshiro

TOKYO, Aug 9 (Reuters) - Japan’s Nikkei share average was little changed by late morning on Tuesday as investors locked in profits, shaving the modest gains made during the index’s earlier drift up to a 2-week high.

The Nikkei was up 0.1 percent at 16,670.47 after touching 16,696.24, its highest level since July 27.

The index initially advanced on residual momentum from the previous day’s rally, when it rose 2.4 percent in response to robust U.S. jobs data and a weaker yen.

“It is an even mix of profit taking and cautious sentiment capping the market,” said Soichiro Monji, chief strategist at Daiwa SB Investments.

“Prospects that the Bank of Japan may have to revise its monetary policy, not so it can accelerate it but rather for the contrary, is dampening market sentiment.”

The BOJ, which has not seen much success in spurring inflation despite adopting extensive easing measures like taking interest rates below zero and purchasing huge amounts of government debt, will comprehensively review its monetary policy next month.

Amid a generally subdued market, Brother Industries Ltd surged more than 20 percent at one point after the office equipment maker revised up its earnings forecast.

Brother now sees its net profit for the year through March 2017 at 33.5 billion yen ($327 million), up from its previous forecast of 31.5 billion yen, thanks to factors like brisk sales in the United States and China.

Mitsubishi Materials Corporation dropped as much as 5.6 percent after the nonferrous metals producer revised down its operating profit forecast for the year through March 2017 to 65 billion yen ($635 million) from 68 billion yen amid an appreciating yen.

The stronger yen was also a factor that weighed on some generic drugmakers which reported declines in their April-June net profits.

Sawai Pharmaceutical Co was down 9.6 percent, Nichi-Iko Pharmaceutical Co shed 5.9 percent and Towa Pharmaceutical Co dropped 17.7 percent.

Ono Pharmaceutical Co extended losses from the previous day and was down 0.9 percent.

Ono Pharmaceutical had slid 19.5 percent on Monday after news that Bristol-Myers Squibb Co’s Opdivo immunotherapy failed a late stage lung cancer trial. The Japanese drugmaker has been developing Opdivo jointly with Bristol-Myers Squibb.

The broader Topix edged up 0.2 percent to 1,308.51 and the JPX-Nikkei Index 400 rose 0.2 percent to 11.775.91.

$1 = 102.4300 yen Editing by Simon Cameron-Moore

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