February 2, 2017 / 2:37 AM / a year ago

Nikkei falls as stronger yen sours mood; Toyota underperforms

* Casio drops on weak earnings

* Hitachi soars after raising forecast

By Ayai Tomisawa

TOKYO, Feb 2 (Reuters) - Japan’s Nikkei share average fell on Thursday after a stronger yen soured sentiment, while Toyota Motor Corp underperformed after posting weak monthly sales in the United States.

The Nikkei fell 0.3 percent to 19,100.23 points in mid-morning trade.

The U.S. Federal Reserve stuck to its mildly upbeat economic view but gave no hint of any immediate rate hike, which sent the dollar down. The greenback fell 0.2 percent to 113.03 yen .

“Since the FOMC’s outcome did not become a major market-moving factor, investors are focusing on earnings results from individual companies today,” said Hikaru Sato, a senior technical analyst at Daiwa Securities.

Toyota underperformed its peers, falling 1.5 percent after the automaker reported a surprise drop of 11 percent in its January U.S. auto sales.

Honda Motor Co Ltd and Nissan Motor Co Ltd both had sales gains of 6 percent, with its stocks rising 0.8 percent and 0.5 percent, respectively.

Casio Computer Co Ltd stumbled 3.8 percent after the company’s operating profit for the April-December period dropped 39.1 percent to 20.375 billion yen ($180 million).

Hitachi Ltd jumped 4 percent after the company raised its operating profit forecast by 20 billion yen for the year through March to 560 billion yen.

Mazda Motor Corp, Sony Corp and Panasonic Corp will report their earnings after the market close.

The broader Topix shed 0.3 percent to 1,523.03 and the JPX-Nikkei Index 400 declined 0.3 percent to 13,662.45 points. ($1 = 113.1400 yen) (Editing by Randy Fabi)

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