Japanese stocks moved lower in early Thursday trading, with the blue chips underperforming the broader market, but with Sony Corp. surging on its earnings. After rallying 2% higher the previous day, the Nikkei Average was down 0.5% and the Topix off 0.2% amid reported profit-taking, with the dollar buying �117.27, little moved from �117.37 at the Wednesday close. Earnings were the main focus, however, with Sony zooming 8.5% higher after it revised up its operating-profit forecast for the fiscal year to show a profit, rather than a loss as previously projected. Yahoo Japan Corp. also climbed on the back of its earnings, with the shares up 2%. On the other hand, Hitachi Ltd. skidded more than 10% lower as a higher sales outlook couldn't overcome the company's drop in quarterly profit. Likewise, Toyota Motor Corp. lost 1.5% as a hike to its full-year forecast failed to support the stock. Beyond earnings, the dive in crude-oil futures overnight sent Inpex Corp. down 3% and Showa Shell Sekiyu K.K. down 2.1%, while Japan Airlines Co. and ANA Holdings Inc. each rose 1.1%. Also on the move, "Hello Kitty" creator Sanrio Co. saw its shares rise 2.1% as a Nikkei news report tipped the company to post a mild profit gain, thanks to strong Asian demand.
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