Nikkei down 0.3 pct, banks help trim earlier loss

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TOKYO, Oct 4 (Reuters) Japan's Nikkei average fell 0.3 per cent on Thursday, led down by high tech company Kyocera Corp following a fall in Wall Street.

But the market was showing a solid bottom at the same time, with shares of all three biggest banks reversing losses on the opening, helping the benchmark to regain some ground.

''The market is solid, though it started lower tracking Wall Street and Nikkei futures in Chicago,'' said Yusuke Sakai, manager of equities trading at Mizuho Securities.

''Fundamentals have not changed since before the subprime problems. Banks and other companies started to be bought as concerns over the problems have eased.'' As of 0046 GMT, the benchmark Nikkei was down 43.65 points at 17,156.24 The broader TOPIX index was up 0.2 percent at 1,666.65 after opening 0.7 per cent lower as bank shares weigh more heavily on the index.

Mizuho Financial Group Inc rose 1.7 percent to 703,000 yen, Mitsubishi UFJ Financial Group Inc gained 2.2 percent to 1,183 yen.

Sumitomo Mitsui Financial Group was up 1.5 per cent to 961,000 yen.

Kyocera extended losses, down 1.9 per cent to 10,650 yen.

Retail giant Seven&I Holdings Co Ltd fell 3.3 per cent to 2,920 yen after the Nikkei business daily reported the firm is likely to miss its first-half operating profit target.

Rival Aeon Co Ltd also lost 1.6 percent to 1,674 yen ahead of its earnings announcement after the close on Thursday.

REUTERS SBA AS0709

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