July 30, 2020 / 3:47 AM / 15 days ago

Nikkei steady after 4-day losing streak on Fed policy, corporate earnings

TOKYO, July 30 (Reuters) - Japan's stock benchmark Nikkei traded steady on Thursday after four straight sessions of falls, as the U.S. Federal Reserve kept interest rates at ultra-low levels and investors cheered a slew of upbeat earnings reports.

The benchmark Nikkei average edged higher 0.05% to 22,408.29 by the midday break, while the broader Topix slipped 0.21% to 1,545.79.

Nearly a third of the 33 sector sub-indexes on the Tokyo exchange traded higher, with securities, precise machinery and information and telecom being the three top performing sectors.

At the end of its two-day policy meeting, the Fed repeated a pledge to use its "full range of tools" to support the economy and keep interest rates near zero, while cautioning that the outlook "will depend significantly on the course of the virus."

All three Wall Street indexes finished higher following the policy announcement.

Among individual gainers in Japan, M3 rose 5.08% to a record high after the company reported a 26.4% jump in operating profit for the April-June quarter.

Nomura Holdings added 4.63% after reporting its second-best quarterly profit since 2002.

Meanwhile, ANA Holdings inched down 0.56% after the airline logged 159 billion yen quarterly operating loss as the coronavirus pandemic curbed travel.

Kao Corporation slipped 4.48% after the toiletry goods maker cut its profit forecast for the year through March.

Elsewhere, Nikkei heavyweight SoftBank Group added 1.68% after the tech conglomerate said it had set up a testing centre to diagnose COVID-19 using saliva. (Reporting by Eimi Yamamitsu; Editing by Subhranshu Sahu)

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