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Nikkei inches up on upbeat earnings from Yaskawa Electric

TOKYO, Jan 13 (Reuters) - Japan’s benchmark Nikkei stock average inched up on Wednesday, supported by positive outlook for corporate performance after Yaskawa Electric raised its forecast driven by demand in China.

Nikkei share average edged up 0.21% to 28,224.71 as of 0153 GMT, while the broader Topix inched up 0.02% to 1,857.53.

Electrical equipment maker Yaskawa Electric raised its operating profit forecast on Tuesday on healthy demand for chips and electronic components in China. Yaskawa gained 2.21%.

Other chip-related shares also gained, with Tokyo Electron jumping 3.97% and Advantest up 3.03%.

“Positive earnings results of Yaskawa Electric is one of the positive factors for Nikkei’s gain today. They gave investors confidence for other companies’ performance,” said Hideyuki Suzuki, general manager for investment market research at SBI Securities.

“Although there are some uncertainties, such as the pandemic and developments in Washington, the market has been supported by solid demand for stocks.”

The market opened with a slight decline as the Japanese government plans to expand a state of emergency it declared for the Tokyo region last week to seven additional prefectures in an effort to stem the spread of COVID-19.

In the United States, some investors are cautious due to developments in Washington after supporters of outgoing President Donald Trump stormed the Capitol last week.

Seven & I Holdings fell 0.59% even despite a positive earnings outlook.

Toho Co, the film distributor of “Demon Slayer”, fell 7.74%, becoming the largest loser on Topix index, even after it raised its profit forecast on a big hit of the animated film which shattered a box-office record. (Reporting by Junko Fujita; Editing by Shailesh Kuber)

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