* Investors lock in recent profits, pushed Huawei suppliers lower
* Keyence, Tokyo Electron slip after Apr-June results
* SoftBank Group climbs 7th session in row on T-Mobile-Sprint deal
* More earnings coming up this week; Murata on Wed, Toyota on Fri
By Tomo Uetake
TOKYO, July 29 (Reuters) - Japanese stocks fell on Monday on profit-taking in otherwise subdued trading, as investors showed caution ahead of corporate earnings reports and policy decisions from the Bank of Japan and U.S. Federal Reserve later this week.
The benchmark Nikkei share average dropped 0.2% to 21,616.80, to pull further back from a 2-1/2-month high hit on Thursday, despite positive cues from Wall Street. [
Profit taking hit Japanese suppliers of electronic parts to China’s Huawei. Murata Manufacturing shed 2.0%, TDK Corp slipped 1.7% and Taiyo Yuden Co dipped 2.0%.
These shares had benefited last week on word that U.S.-China trade talks were resuming, but they lost their bounce on Monday as expectations were low for any breakthrough during the talks between negotiators in Shanghai..
“Some manufacturers disappointed the market with earnings misses last week. That’s weighing on investor sentiment today,” said Masahiro Suzuki, senior quant analyst at Daiwa Securities.
Keyence Corp slumped 4.4% after the factory automation products maker’s operating profit for the April-June quarter fell by 15% from a year earlier.
Tokyo Electron dropped 0.8% after the chip-making gear supplier said its operating profit for April-June fell 41% year-on-year, a much bigger fall than the analyst consensus, after the market close on Friday.
Bucking the overall weakness, Nikkei heavyweight SoftBank Group Corp jumped 3.9% after the U.S. Justice Department said T-Mobile won an antitrust approval for its $26 billion merger of rival Sprint Corp.
Also, SBG’s chief executive Masayoshi Son said on Monday that the company will invest $2 billion in ride-hailing app Grab.
The broader Topix edged down 0.2% to 1.568.57. Turnover on the Tokyo Stock Exchange’s main board was subdued at 1.74 trillion yen ($16.0 billion) versus the daily average of 2.33 trillion yen over the past year.
Japan’s April-June quarter corporate earnings season gets into full swing this week, with Fanuc Corp, Komatsu and Hitachi announcing results after the market close on Monday, while Murata Manufacturing and Toyota Motor’s results were due on Wednesday and Friday, respectively.
The Bank of Japan is expected to keep its massive stimulus programme unchanged at the end of a two-day meeting on Tuesday, while the U.S. Federal Reserve is widely expected to cut interest rates later this week. ($1 = 108.6400 yen) (Reporting by Tomo Uetake; Editing by Simon Cameron-Moore)