Most Japanese shares fall amid mixed earnings; oil stocks climb
By Rocky Swift
TOKYO, May 11 (Reuters) - Most Japanese shares fell on Thursday as investors pulled back after recent gains and took stock of a mixed bag of corporate earnings ahead of a high-profile Group of Seven meeting.
Mazda Motor Corp 7261.T lost 2.69% after the car-maker cut sales and profit guidance due to production constraints. Sumitomo Metal Mining Co 5713.T plunged 11.73% after forecasting earnings far below analyst estimates, amid uncertainty over China's economy and metals prices.
Imaging company Fujifilm Holdings Corp 4901.T surged 5.88% following results that beat market expectations. ENEOS Holdings Inc 5020.T led energy shares higher as oil prices LCOc1 rose, and then extended gains after saying it planned to list its metals unit.
The benchmark Nikkei gauge .N225 ended almost flat, inching 0.02% to close at 29,126.72. Of the index components, 137 stocks declined, while 85 rose and three were flat.
The broader Topix .TOPX edged down 0.14% to 2,083.09.
Nearly 300 companies reported earnings on Wednesday, followed by about 1,500 more on Thursday and Friday. Meanwhile, G7 leaders and finance officials are meeting in Japan in the coming days, clouded by the potential absence of U.S. President Joe Biden due to stalled on lifting the debt limit to avert a default.
"With the Nikkei average rising to the highest levels this year, from the this point, we have to start wondering if these (valuation) levels are reasonable," said Nomura strategist Kazuo Kamitani. "With that in mind, I think it's becoming difficult to chase further price increases."
"Looking forward, we to keep an eye on the flow about the U.S. debt ceiling issue while following earnings announcements," he added.
Non-ferrous metals producers .INFRO.T were the biggest decliners among the Tokyo Stock Exchange's 33 industry sub-indexes, sliding 4.34%. Oil and gas companies .PETE.T were the biggest gainers, climbing 3.17% as a group and energy explorers .IMING.T gained 1.07%.
(Reporting by Rocky Swift; Editing by Nivedita Bhattacharjee and Sonia Cheema)