TOKYO, April 12 (Reuters) - Japanese shares ended lower on Monday, dragged down by sharp losses in Yaskawa Electric after the industry bellwether's earnings outlook failed to meet the market's expectations, prompting a sell-off in other tech stocks.
Nikkei average .N225 fell 0.77% to close at 29,538.73. It has been in a holding pattern after hitting a 30-and-a-half-year high in mid-February, with a break of either its March 18 high of 30,485 or March 24 low of 28,379, seen as needed for a new trend to emerge.
The broader Topix .TOPX ended 0.25% lower at 1,954.59.
Shares of robot maker Yaskawa Electric 6506.T , a leading indicator on Japanese manufacturers' earnings trends, lost 7.11% after its February quarter earnings fell short of investor expectations. company expects 54.5% jump in its operating profit to 42 billion yen ($383.67 million) in the current financial year, nearly meeting analysts' forecast of 43 billion yen.
"Today's investor reaction to Yaskawa stock suggested that the market expectations for the company was very strong," said Takatoshi Itoshima, strategist at Pictet Asset Management.
"Investors sold other tech shares because Yaskawa's result implicated disappointing earnings for others. But if they could confirm strong earnings of other firms, they would buy them back."
Supermarket operator Aeon 8267.T also lost 4.08%, after subdued quarterly earnings. retailers will release their earnings this week while the country's top companies will start later this month.
Toshiba 6502.T rose 6.21% after the Nikkei financial daily said late Friday state-backed Japan Investment Corp (JIC) and the Development Bank of Japan (DBJ) would join $20 billion takeover bid by CVC Capital Partners. golf shaft maker Graphite Design 7847.T jumped 8.12%, after Hideki Matsuyama become the first Japanese man to win a Masters victory at Augusta National. service firm Value Golf 3931.T gained 13.01%.
($1 = 109.4700 yen)
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