Nikkei edges up 0.1 pct, Toyota at record high
TOKYO, Oct 25: The Nikkei average rose 0.1 percent on Wednesday as investors pinned their hopes on solid earnings growth at major companies, with Toyota Motor Corp. hitting a lifetime high for a second straight day.
But caution spread ahead of the day's earnings announcements and in view of sharp rise in the last month, trimming early gains in stocks such as Honda Motor Co. Ltd.
''The pace of the rally here since late September has been so fast that the view has spread that the market needs to take a breather,'' said Tsutomu Yamada, market analyst at Kabu.com Securities.
The Nikkei was up 0.12 percent or 19.45 points at 16,799.92 as of 0145 GMT after easing 8.35 points on Tuesday.
''It doesn't look so easy to reach 17,000 for now, particularly in the middle of the earnings season,'' said Yamada.
The broad TOPIX index was up 0.04 percent at 1,663.17.
NEC Corp. sank more than 4 percent after announcing a loss warning for its parent-only earnings for the first half.
Honda will announce earnings later in the day along with other major companies such as Sharp Corp., Seiko Epson Corp., NEC Electronics Corp. and Nomura Holdings Inc.
Toyota, the world's second-biggest auto maker, hit a new lifetime high of 7,100 yen, up 1 percent.
Rival Honda was up 0.2 percent at 4,120 yen.
Shares of Nippon Steel Corp. rose 1 percent at 497 yen after the Nihon Keizai Shimbun said Japan's biggest steel maker is likely to book an annual recurring profit of 520 billion yen this business year, around 20 billion yen higher than the company's estimate.
Shares of NEC lost 4.6 percent to 649 yen after the company said late on Tuesday that it would switch from U.S. accounting practices to less stringent Japanese standards and that it would post a parent-only loss for the first half instead of a profit.