November 11, 2019 / 6:30 AM / a month ago

Nikkei eases off 13-month high, consolidates gains

* Nikkei down 0.26%, Topix up slightly

* Doubts on U.S.-China deal, Hong Kong protest sour mood

* Investor look to future earnings recovery

* Honda, Nissan Chemical up as share buyback offset soft earnings

By Hideyuki Sano

TOKYO, Nov 11 (Reuters) - Japanese shares consolidated their gains on Monday after a strong rally over the past few weeks on hopes of a U.S.-China trade deal, but fresh violence in Hong Kong dampened sentiment.

The Nikkei share average slipped 0.26% to 23,331.84, easing from a 13-month high hit on Friday, while the broader Topix ticked up 0.07% to 1,704.03, with advancers outnumbering decliners by a ratio of 62 to 38.

U.S. President Donald Trump said on Friday he had not agreed to a rollback of U.S. tariffs sought by China, raising some doubts on the chance of a deal, though he said on Saturday that trade talks were moving along “very nicely”.

Asian share markets were rattled by news fromn Hong Kong, where media reported at least one protester was wounded after police fired live rounds a day after officers used tear gas to break up demonstrations that are entering their sixth month.

“Given the market has rallied without any corrections, it needs some time for consolidation,” said Takashi Hiroki, chief strategist at Monex Securities.

“Japanese earnings results so far have not been great, with about 70% of companies cutting estimates. But investors are looking beyond the dips in the current year and to a likely recovery after that,” he said.

Honda Motor rose 3.9% as the carmaker announced a plan to buy back up to 1.9% of its own shares. That was more than enough for investors to offset any disappointment from the revision in its annual profit and global sales outlook to a four-year low.

Likewise, Nissan Chemical rose 9.9% after the company cut its earnings guidance but also announced share buybacks.

Regional lender Fukushima Bank, trading at about a quarter of its book value, rose 27.6% after public broadcaster NHK reported it would form a capital and strategic tie-up with Japanese internet brokerage giant SBI Holdings Inc.

SBI Holdings dipped 0.5%.

Sushiro Global Holdings jumped 6.8% to a record high after the sushi restaurant chain operator announced solid earnings and dividend hikes while security company Secom also gained 3.9% after brisk earning growth in July-September.

On the other hand, diaper maker Unicharm, which has had a high valuation, fell 7.7% as its earnings growth fell short of market expectations.

Bridgestone dipped 0.8% after the tyre maker cut its annual profit outlook.

Amusement store operator Round One dropped 13.5% after it cut its annual profit estimate and posted a fall in revenue in October, the first month after sales tax hike. (Editing by Jacqueline Wong & Simon Cameron-Moore)

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