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TOKYO: Japan’s Nikkei share average drifted sideways in a narrow range on Tuesday as investors braced for more local corporate earnings results and the release of all-important US inflation figures the following day.

The market was also cautious over a weakening currency and rising domestic bond yields amid speculation that the Bank of Japan could soon take additional policy tightening steps.

The Nikkei entered the midday recess up 0.05% at 38,199.10, with 102 of its 225 components rising versus 123 that fell.

The broader Topix eased 0.04%.

Earnings produced some standout winners and losers, including heavyweight startup investor SoftBank Group, which added 1.78% to be among the Nikkei’s biggest supports on the day.

Furukawa Electric surged almost 19% to pace advancers after reporting financial results, while chemical company Tosoh Corp led decliners with a 7.25% slide. Sony Group was up 0.38% ahead of its earnings announcement due later in the day.

“There are a lot of individual drivers, but unfortunately none that give an overall direction to the market,” said Kazuo Kamitani, an equities strategist at Nomura Securities.

Kamitani predicted the Nikkei would range between the five-and 25-day moving averages at around 38,170 and 38,450 respectively, with a slight downward bias.

Daiwa Securities was another notable loser, dropping 6.78% on news that it would invest 51.9 billion yen ($331.78 million) in Aozora Bank, making it the biggest shareholder.

Aozora Bank shares eased 0.4%.

Tokyo stocks close lower

Drugmaker Shionogi fell about 3% after saying its COVID treatment pill failed in a trial to show a statistically significant reduction of 15 common symptoms of the illness.

Peer Chugai Pharmaceutical tumbled 4.69% following a successful trial of a rival haemophilia treatment from Novo Nordisk.

“Good data was expected, but these results appear to be at the upper end of expectations,” Jefferies analysts wrote in a research note.

“No change to our bullish view of Chugai, but this news may hurt sentiment.”

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