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Nikkei holds steady on caution ahead of earnings

TOKYO, Oct 26 (Reuters) - Japanese shares steadied on Monday, as investors were on guard ahead of a slew of earnings reports, while a surge in global coronavirus cases also weighed on sentiment.

The benchmark Nikkei share average was nearly flat at 23,514.41 by the midday break, while the broader Topix fell 0.17% to 1,622.53.

Nearly two-thirds of the 33 sector sub-indexes on the Tokyo exchange traded lower, with iron and steel, services and securities leading the declines on the main bourse.

Corporate earnings due later in the day include Canon Inc , Nidec Corp and Nitto Denko Corp.

Mounting worries about coronavirus cases also prevented investors from taking huge positions.

The United States has seen its highest ever number of new coronavirus cases in the past two days, while in Europe, France registered record increase in infections over the weekend and Spain announced a state of emergency.

E-mini futures for the S&P 500 dipped more than 0.5% amid U.S. coronavirus stimulus and presidential election uncertainty, creating an extra headwind to Japanese shares.

Electronic parts maker Murata Manufacturing climbed 2.77% after the company made upward revisions to its net profit forecast for the six months ended Sept. 30.

Other electrical component stocks followed suit, with Taiyo Yuden and TDK Corp up around 1.9% each.

Among decliners, ANA Holdings lost nearly 1.3% after media reports the airline operator plans to cut about 3,500 jobs in three years as it braced for its biggest-ever annual loss.

Elsewhere, the Mothers Index of start-up firm shares lost 1.23% and was poised to mark four consecutive sessions of losses. (Reporting by Eimi Yamamitsu; Editing by Krishna Chandra Eluri)