Japan Stocks Give Ground, With Softbank, Bridgestone Among Decliners

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Japanese stocks rattled lower in early Tuesday trading, with the Nikkei Average down 0.3% in the face of a negative U.S. equities lead, even after the Tokyo benchmark opened mildly to the upside. The broader Topix was flat, while the dollar was buying �119.98, up modestly from �119.92 at the previous day's Japan stock close. Earnings and earnings expectations remained in the forefront, with Bridgestone Corp. sliding 5.2% lower after posting fractional drops in net income and operating profit for the January-March quarter, while tipping a 3% fall in profit for the first-half of the year. Softbank Corp. initially rose on the back of its forecast-beating quarterly earnings, but soon gave up those gains, with its shares down 0.8%. Tsugami Corp. fell 2.6% as a Nikkei report said the industrial machine maker would post a lower profit in the current fiscal year due to a difficult forex environment and falling demand. On the other hand, NSK Ltd. managed to rise 2.5% after reporting its fiscal-year results. Also among major movers, Toshiba Corp. dropped another 3.9%, extending its almost 17% plunge in the Monday session after it withdrew its earnings guidance due to accounting issues. However, Sharp Corp. , which had suffered a deep 26% loss a day earlier, managed to recoup some ground with a 5.3% rise. Shares of auto-parts maker Takata Corp. gave back a portion of its own earnings-related gains to retreat 3.1% as the company continues to face fallout from defective airbags that triggered a series of worldwide auto recalls.

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