September 10, 2018 / 2:58 AM / 8 months ago

Nikkei struggles to snap losing streak, Trump's China trade threat weighs

* Nikkei may snap 6-day losing streak

* Advancing issues outnumbers declining ones

By Ayai Tomisawa

TOKYO, Sept 10 (Reuters) - Japan’s Nikkei inched up on Monday, supported by short-covering after falling for six straight sessions, but gains were limited after U.S. President Donald Trump warned he was ready to slap tariffs on virtually all Chinese imports into the United States.

The Nikkei was up 0.1 percent at 22,330.19 points by in mid-morning trade, after flitting in and out of negative territory.

Trump ratcheted up trade pressure on China on Friday, threatening duties on another $267 billion of goods in addition to the $200 billion already facing the risk of duties.

“Investors are getting cautious against a possible escalation of the trade conflict, but some are thinking that Trump doesn’t want the U.S. stock market to fall before the midterm elections so there are hopes that he will be less provocative from now,” said Hikaru Sato, a senior technical analyst at Daiwa Securities.

The broader Topix was up 0.2 percent to 1,688.37, with advancing issues outnumbering declining ones 1,227 to 747.

Financial stocks gained ground, with the insurance sector soaring 1.5 percent and the banking sector surging 1.2 percent. Dai-ichi Life Holdings advanced 2.2 percent, MS&AD Insurance gained 1.4 percent and Mitsubishi UFJ Financial Group rose 1.0 percent.

Index-heavy stocks lost ground. Fast Retailing, operator of Uniqlo clothing stores, shed 1.5 percent, TDK Corp shed 2.0 percent and Advantest Corp dropped 2.5 percent.

Meanwhile, entertainment business operator Ateam Inc dived 16 percent and was the biggest percentage loser on the board after said it expected operating profit to drop 14.9 percent for the year ending July 2019. (Editing by Kim Coghill)

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