October 14, 2016 / 2:07 AM / 2 years ago

REFILE-Nikkei edges up in choppy trade, helped by Fast Retailing's gains

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* Nikkei has fallen 0.3 pct for the week

* Fast Retailing contributes to Nikkei gains

By Ayai Tomisawa

TOKYO, Oct 14 (Reuters) - Japan’s Nikkei share average edged up in choppy trade on Friday morning as index-heavyweight Fast Retailing Co’s strong gains offset negative sentiment from Wall Street’s weakness overnight.

Fast Retailing, owner of the Uniqlo casual-wear brand, jumped 4.2 percent after saying on Thursday it expected operating profit to jump 38 percent to a record high 175.0 billion yen for the year ending in August 2017.

Fast Retailing’s good news contributed a hefty positive 58 points to the Nikkei.

The Nikkei opened a tad lower, but turned positive in midmorning trade. At 0157 GMT, the index rose 0.2 percent to 16,809.55. For the week, it has fallen 0.3 percent.

U.S. stocks fell, hit by selling in financial stocks, while investors have been worried about U.S. companies’ third-quarter earnings since Alcoa’s dismal forecast disappointed the market when earnings season began earlier this week.

“Until new catalysts emerge, investors will likely monitor both U.S. earnings and Japan Inc’s earnings,” said Kazuhiro Takahashi, an equity strategist at Daiwa Securities.

The Nikkei will likely rise and trade above 17,000 once the market has priced in the results, Takahashi added, as well as reflecting expectations of a U.S. rate hike in December.

Exporters were weak, with Toyota Motor Corp shedding 0.2 percent, Honda Motor Co was down 0.4 percent and Panasonic Corp fell 0.05 percent.

But Fujitsu Ltd outperformed and rose 3.8 percent after the Nikkei reported that the company had launched an initial bidding round for the household internet operations of its Nifty subsidiary.

The broader Topix fell 0.1 percent to 1,340.9 and the JPX-Nikkei Index 400 was down 0.2 percent percent to 112980.32.

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