* Nikkei steady, set for 6th straight week of loss * Nikon, Konica Minolta, Hitachi rise after earnings * Sony weak as earnings outlook disappoints By Dominic Lau TOKYO, May 11 (Reuters) - The Nikkei share average steadied o n Friday ahead of industrial output data from China, Japan's largest export market, while investors zoomed in on companies such as Nikon Corp and Hitachi Corp after positive earnings results. Many Japanese companies hurt by supply disruptions after the March 2011 earthquake and tsunami, and floods in Thailand, have shown some improvement in their earnings outlooks during the current results season, helping the overall market. "There has been nothing so out-of-line that causes complete mayhem," said a Tokyo-based analyst, who declined to be identified, referring to earnings guidance given so far by Japanese firms. The Nikkei was flat at 9,012.47, holding above the psychologically key 9,000-mark but still trading below its 200-day moving average near 9,049. The index has fallen 3.9 percent this week, on track for a sixth straight weekly loss, as concerns over slowing global growth and the euro zone debt crisis have prompted investors to cash in gains after a more than 19 percent rally in January-March, the Nikkei's best first-quarter rise in 24 years. The broader Topix slipped 0.2 percent to 764.01. Nikon surged 6.9 percent after the camera maker's 2011/12 operating profit beat its own forecast, while a dealer said the company should "shoot the lights out of the guidance", which appeared conservative. Office equipment maker Konica Minolta Holdings forecast a 48 billion yen operating profit, beating market consensus of 47 billion yen. The stock jumped 7 percent. Hitachi's operating profit for the year ended March also came in ahead of its forecast and its estimate for this financial year was largely in line with market expectations. Shares of the electrical machinery maker climbed 2.1 percent. Of the 122 Nikkei companies that have so far reported January-March results, 59 percent of them either beat or met market expectations, Thomson Reuters StarMine data showed. Some investors remained downbeat on Japanese equities, despite their sharp rally in January-March. "If I can see that the Bank of Japan is really going to be ... pushing the yen down to, say, 95, I could see the reason for thinking inflation will start to turn around, and we can get stronger nominal growth and stronger profit and profit margin as a result, then that will be a reason for reassessing Japan," said Andrew Pease, chief investment strategist of Asia Pacific at Russell Investments. "Right now, given the yen at 79, it's very hard to turn that view around." Trading volume on the main board after the midway point was relatively light, at 43 percent of its full daily average for the past 90 days. Sony Corp fell 5.1 percent on Friday. Traders described the company's results as weak despite a promise to return to profit this year and halve losses in its TV business. "I didn't see anything positive in there," a trader at a U.S. bank said. "There is really nothing in there that can justify buying the stock." "You see the loss narrowing in the TV business. That's fine, but I don't see any future in the TV business, so it doesn't matter what they do." He said its forecast of shipping 33 million smartphone handsets in the business year looked vulnerable because its supplier Qualcomm faced capacity constraints and its main priority was to supply Apple, which meant Sony may not secure enough chips for its smartphones.