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Japan: Nikkei edges up in choppy trade ahead of BOJ meeting


[TOKYO] Japanese stocks edged up in choppy trade on Thursday after solid industrial output data helped tame expectations for further easing when the Bank of Japan meets on Friday.

The Nikkei share average gained 0.2 per cent to close at 18,935.71.

Traders said sentiment was helped by data showing Japan's industrial output rose 1 per cent in September, and by the U.S. Federal Reserve's downplaying of recent global market turmoil in its Wednesday meeting.

But trading remained thin as many investors stayed on the sidelines ahead of Friday's BOJ policy meeting.

Nintendo Co shares tumbled 9 per cent after chief executive Tatsumi Kimishima announced the company would delay the launch of its smartphone-based video game service.

Nintendo's mobile gaming partner, DeNA Co, saw its shares plummet 14.9 per cent.

Japan's securities sector shed 2.3 per cent, weighed down by Nomura Holdings and Daiwa Securities Group, which reported weaker-than-expected July-September profits and slipped 2.9 per cent and 2.7 per cent, respectively.

The Topix subindex for pharmaceuticals gained 1.3 per cent as cautious investors bought into defensive shares. Precision instruments added 3.1 per cent, lifted by Hoya Corp, which climbed 6.9 per cent after announcing a rise in quarterly profits and a plan to buy back 14 million shares.

The broader Topix remained flat at 1,547.11 and the JPX-Nikkei Index 400 rose 0.1 per cent to 13,888.86.