TokYO, Aug. 4 - Italian shares dipped in September as concerns about the rapid spread of Delta Coronavirus variant kept investors on edge while upbeat earnings boosted Nippon Steel and other similar shares.
Some of the country's top companies such as Toyota Motor, Honda Motor and a few trading houses are due to report their results later on the same day.
The Nikkei share average dipped 0.16% to 27,569. 52, while the broader Topix lost 0.20% to 1,927. 28.
Concerns about surging COVID - 19 cases are mounting as the head of the Japan Medical Association called for a national state of emergency.
What is it about selling that's not huge. But no one is buying. Even when a company announces strong earnings, that certainly please its existing investors but there's no additional buyers, said Takenori Yamamoto, portfolio manager at Norinchukin Zenkyoren Asset.
He expects more buying into the economy late in August when the government will likely focus on an economic stimulus ahead of an election he must hold by November.
Still, upbeat earnings did give a fillip to some shares.
Nippon Steel rose 8.1% after the country's top steelmaker bumped up its net profit estimate for the current year by more than 50%, well above analysts' forecasts.
That helped to boost other steelmakers, with Kobe Steel adding 3.3% and JFE increasing 1.5%.
Daikin rose 4.6% after the manufacturer of air-conditioners posted stronger than expected profit growth.
Z Holdings gained 6.3% following the Internet service firm reported brisk growth in quarterly profits.
On the other hand, Nichirei Corp. decreased 11.6% after the weak frozen food product firm had benefited from demand boost from pandemic and reported weak quarterly profits in the quarter.
Game companies continue to feel the pinch after China's state media article described online games as spiritual opium.
Nexon lost 3.5% while Koei Tecmo fell 2.3%.