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Tokyo stocks open lower with eyes on Toyota earnings

Tokyo stocks opened slightly lower on Thursday in cautious trade with few clues from Wall Street, as investors awaited Toyota earnings later in the trading day.

The benchmark Nikkei 225 index was down 0.07 percent or 15.86 points at 23,287.96 in early trade, while the broader Topix index was down 0.04 percent or 0.60 points at 1,693.85.

"The Japanese market is seen moving in a narrow range as the US market ended mixed without moving much," Toshiyuki Kanayama, senior market strategist at Monex, said in a commentary.

"Toyota Motor is scheduled to announce its earnings report during trading hours, and that is drawing much attention" from investors, he said.

Wall Street stocks were under pressure on Wednesday as investors awaited concrete progress on US-China trade talks while petroleum-linked shares fell with oil prices.

Upbeat comments from US and Chinese officials have lifted US indices to records in recent sessions.

But investors remain uneasy over the lack of tangible headway, with Wednesday reports that the United States and China might delay a meeting to formalise the agreement.

In Asia, the dollar fetched 108.90 yen, against 108.97 yen.

Among major shares in Tokyo, SoftBank Group sank 3.97 percent to 4,150 yen after it announced an operating loss of $6.4 billion in the second quarter, the worst in its history, as it took a hit from investments in start-ups including WeWork and Uber.

Mitsubishi Motors dropped 7.76 percent to 487 yen after it sharply cut its full-year operating profit forecast.

Toyota was down just 0.05 percent at 7,645 yen ahead of its earnings report.

On Wall Street, the Dow ended flat at 27,492.56, while the S&P ended up just 0.1 percent and tech-rich Nasdaq finished down 0.3 percent.