Nikkei edges down on weak earnings, but rising yields boost banks
* Nikkei drops 0.24 pct, pulls back from near 2-week highs
* Kobe Steel slumps on earnings, Furukawa Elec falls
* But banks strong as Japan's long-term bond yields keep rising
By Shinichi Saoshiro
TOKYO, Aug 2 (Reuters) - Japan's Nikkei share average dipped on Thursday after weak earning reports by companies such as Kobe Steel 5406.T and in the wake of declines on Wall Street, but losses were limited as banks performed strongly on the back of rising bond yields.
The Nikkei .N225 was down 0.24 percent at 22,691.24, inching away from a near two-week high marked the previous day.
The S&P 500 .SPX and the Dow .DJI slipped on Wednesday as gains in Apple AAPL.O shares were offset by a drop in energy and industrial companies, with the latest flare-up in U.S.-China trade tensions dampening broader sentiment. .N
Kobe Steel fell more than 8 percent after it reported a 55 percent drop in recurring profit in the April-June quarter as a data-tampering scandal that hit Japan's third largest steelmaker hurt profits. Furukawa Electric Co 5801.T slumped 11 percent after the maker of metal products, cables and optical fibres saw its net profit fall 51.6 percent to 3.31 billion yen in the April-June quarter. a rise in Japan's benchmark 10-year bond yield to a 1-1/2-year peak JP10YTN=JBTC lifted financial shares, with higher interest rates seen as a boon for banks.
Sumitomo Mitsui Financial Group 8316.T rose 0.44 percent, Mitsubishi UFJ Financial Group 8306.T was up 0.8 percent and Mizuho Financial Group 8411.T gained 1.1 percent.
The banking subsector .IBNKS.T has climbed roughly 2.6 percent so far this week.
Other gainers included Konica Minolta Inc 4902.T , which rose 4.92 percent after the printer and optical devices manufacturer revised up its operating profit forecast for the year through March 2019 to 62 billion yen ($555 million) from 60 billion yen. stocks advanced after the tech-heavy Nasdaq .IXIC rose overnight.
Tokyo Electron 8035.T climbed 0.5 percent, Advantest Corp 6857.T gained 1.4 percent and SUMCO Corp 3436.T rose 0.37 percent.
The broader Topix .TOPX was 0.02 percent lower at 1,769.27.
($1 = 111.6900 yen)
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