TOKYO, July 26 (Reuters) - Japanese shares rose on Monday,
as they caught the tailwind from a bounce in global peers on
positive corporate earnings, though gains were curbed by
investor concerns that a surge in domestic COVID-19 infections
could dampen economic recovery.
Nikkei average rose as much as 1.77% in early trade
after a four-day weekend that marked the opening of Tokyo
Olympics, before shedding a part of the gains to trade 1.30%
higher at 27,906.28.
The broader Topix was up 1.31% at 1,929.34, after
having risen 1.74% earlier in the session. During the long
weekend in Japan, all three major U.S. stock indexes closed at
"The market is strong during the U.S. and European trades.
As soon as Tokyo opens, it turns softer, which underscores the
cautious mood here. With coronavirus cases rising, investors
sell into rally rather than bidding up," said Tomoichiro Kubota,
senior market analyst at Matsui Securities.
Tokyo reported 1,763 cases on Sunday, up 75% from a week
Motor maker Nidec fell 1.1% after some investors
were disappointed by the firm not bumping up its annual profit
outlook despite the solid rise in quarterly profit.
"The results were pretty good, but its share reaction
suggests shares that have very high investor expectations may
have hard time advancing gains," Matsui Securities' Kubota said.
Elsewhere, Tokyo Steel Manufacturing jumped more
than 15% after the company boosted earnings forecast sharply.
That helped to boost other steelmakers' shares, with
industry leader Nippon Steel up 5.7% and JFE Holdings
Toray gained 5% after Nikkei business daily
reported that the chemical company's quarterly profits soared.
The firm will announce its earnings next week.
SoftBank Group bucked the trend to fall 0.4%, hit
by worries about the firm's exposure to Didi and other
Chinese tech firms as China intensifies crackdown on them.
(Reporting by Hideyuki Sano, Editing by Sherry Jacob-Phillips)