October 29, 2018 / 2:57 AM / 24 days ago

Japan stocks track Wall St lower; Hitachi Chemical down

* Nikkei down 0.09 pct, Topix loses 0.27 pct

* Japan stocks sag on lingering weakness in U.S., Chinese shares

* Hitachi Chemical slides after reports of data falsification

By Shinichi Saoshiro

TOKYO, Oct 29 (Reuters) - Japanese stocks handed back earlier modest gains and slipped on Monday as continuing weakness in U.S. and Chinese shares dampened investor sentiment.

The Nikkei ended the morning session down 0.09 percent at 21,165.30 points, remaining on the defensive after posting their biggest weekly loss in more than eight months.

The broader Topix was down 0.27 percent at 1,591.63.

Wall Street shares fell on Friday after technology and internet shares sold off further, capping another volatile week for U.S. stocks.

The Asian markets followed on Monday, with the Shanghai Composite Index losing 1.5 percent.

“Bargain hunters did come in to take advantage of price dips as the market experienced such a steep decline last week. But much of the action was futures-led and the rebound lacked strength,” said Yoshinori Ogawa, senior strategist at Okasan Securities.

“It will require some time for the market to regain its confidence. If sentiment was healthy, reaction to reports of upbeat earnings prospects, notably Sony, would be stronger,” Ogawa added.

Sony Corp was down 0.9 percent, shrugging off a report in the Nikkei business daily that the company’s consolidated operating profit for the April-September fiscal period was likely to reach a record high.

Kourakuen Holdings Corp soared 12.4 percent after the restaurant chain operator raised its net profit forecast for the year through March 2019 to 739 million yen from 269 million yen.

Another company boosted by upbeat earnings prospects was Shin-Etsu Chemical Co, which gained 6.8 percent after lifting its net profit forecast for the year through March 2019 to 290 billion yen from 270 billion yen thanks to growth in its U.S. chemical and semiconductor silicon businesses.

Hitachi Chemical Co, on the other hand, sank 8.2 percent following media reports that it had falsified inspections for a material used in semiconductors.

Tokyo Tekko Co retreated more than 10 percent as the steel bar maker cut its net profit forecast for the year through March 2019 to 2.5 billion yen from 3.76 billion yen amid a rise in scrap iron prices. (Editing by Kim Coghill)

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