March 11, 2019 / 2:34 AM / 7 months ago

Nikkei edges up after 4 days of losses, weak U.S. data limits gains

* Nikkei up 0.21 pct, Topix climbs 0.39 pct

* Automakers lifted as dollar/yen manages defies lower U.S. yields

* Weak U.S. data casts growth worries, limits stocks gains

By Shinichi Saoshiro

TOKYO, March 11 (Reuters) - Japan’s Nikkei share average edged up on Monday on bargain hunting following four sessions of losses, although gains were limited after much weaker-than-expected U.S. jobs data clouded the outlook for the global economy.

Japan’s Nikkei share average was up 0.21 percent at 21,069.93 at the midday close after spending the morning session swerving in and out of the red. The index crawled back towards a three-month peak of 21,860.39 scaled a week ago.

While market sentiment and Japanese exporters were supported by the dollar’s resilience against the yen, the weak U.S. jobs report poses a concern, said Yoshinori Shigemi, global market strategist at JPMorgan Asset Management.

Data released on Friday showed U.S. employment growth almost stalled in February, with the economy creating only 20,000 jobs, adding to signs of a sharp slowdown in economic activity in the first quarter. Wall Street’s main indexes fell for the fifth day on Friday in wake of the jobs report.

“While it’s too early to brace for a recession gripping the United States, a slowing economy is something to worry about,” Shigemi said.

Shares of exporters such as automakers gained as the dollar clung above the 111.00 yen threshold despite the recent decline in U.S. bond yields.

Toyota Motor Corp added 0.6 percent, Nissan Motor Co gained 1 percent and Honda Motor Co rose 0.8 percent.

Healthcare and medical device maker Omron Corp was untraded due to a glut of buy orders following the company’s inclusion to the Nikkei 225 starting Mar. 18.

Torikizoku Co sank 4.6 percent after the grilled chicken restaurant chain operator revised its net profit forecast for the year through July 2019 to a loss of 356 million yen ($3.21 million) from a gain of 747 million yen.

The broader Topix was 0.39 percent higher at 1,578.62. ($1 = 111.0500 yen) (Editing by Sam Holmes)

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