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Nikkei dips on fading U.S. rate cut views, earnings caution


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* Investors look to Japan earnings season amid trade worries

* Asahi Group Holdings down after AB InBev deal

* Semi-conductor shares extend gains

TOKYO, July 22 (Reuters) - Japanese shares dipped on Mondayas hopes for a large U.S. Federal Reserve rate cut faded andinvestors took a cautious stance ahead of the domestic earningsseasons, which starts this week.

The Nikkei share average .N225 fell 0.23% to 21,416.79while the broader Topix .TOPX shed 0.49% to 1,556.37, with lowturnover of 1.63 trillion yen, about 30% below the annualaverage.

On Friday, U.S. stocks fell following a Wall Street Journalreport that the Federal Reserve plans to cut interest rates byonly a quarter-percentage point at the end of the month. urn:newsml:reuters.com:*:nL2N24K143urn:newsml:reuters.com:*:nL4N24K3LY

On the whole, trading was light with many investors awaitingearnings for clues on the market, which has moved in a narrowrange in the past few months on uncertainties over Sino-U.S.trade war.

"Although the U.S. and China have struck a truce on trade,the reality is that there was a tariff hike in June," saidMasahiro Ayukai, senior strategist at Mitsubishi UFJ MorganStanley Securities.

"Japan and South Korea have spats while the world's economyis slowing down. Investors are looking to what kind of guidancecompanies will provide under such circumstances," he said.

Quarterly earnings reports by Japanese companies will be infull swing later this week, with Canon 7751.T and Nidec6594.T announcing results after the market close on Wednesday.

The market showed no reaction to Sunday's Japanese upperhouse election, where Prime Minister Shinzo Abe's ruling blocwon a solid majority. urn:newsml:reuters.com:*:nL4N24M017

The biggest movers of the day included Asahi Group Holdings2502.T , which fell 8.9% after the beverage firm said it wouldbuy the Australian operations of Anheuser-Busch InBevABI.BR and issue up to 200 billion yen ($1.9 billion) of shares to fundit. urn:newsml:reuters.com:*:nL8N24K1BB

Bucking the broader decline, chip-related stocks extendedtheir gains following upbeat earning guidance from Taiwan's TSMC 2330.TW last week. urn:newsml:reuters.com:*:nL4N24J2G0

Taiyo Yuden Co Ltd6976.T rose 3.3%, while Advantest Corp6857.T rose 1.9%, and Screen Holdings7735.T rose 2.7%.

Sanoh Industrial6584.T gained 8.4% in heavy trade, havingrisen 30% since Thursday, when the company announced itdeveloped a battery cell that can directly convert heat intoelectricity.

(Editing by Richard Borsuk and Sam Holmes) ((hideyuki.sano@thomsonreuters.com; +81 3 6441 1827; ReutersMessaging: hideyuki.sano.thomsonreuters.com@reuters.net))






This article appears in: Stocks , World Markets , Politics



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