(Corrects to remove extraneous character in 8th paragraph)
TOKYO, Aug 8 (Reuters) - Japanese shares eked out small gains on Thursday on bargain-hunting after the past week's heavy selling, but investor sentiment remained frail due to the uncertain outlook for reducing conflicts between the United States and China.
The market was relieved as the Chinese yuan CNY=CFXS was largely stabilising after heavy falls early this week and as there was no fresh escalation in Sino-U.S. tensions over the last 24 hours.
"The market calmed down a bit as there was no particular bad news," said Soichiro Monji, senior economist at Sumitomo Mitsui DS Asset Management.
Yet worries that the their confrontation could tip the global economy into a severe downturn or even a recession kept many investors on the sidelines.
Trading mostly focused on companies that just published earnings.
SoftBank's results have been increasingly volatile as Chief Executive Masayoshi Son shifts focus from the predictable income of telecoms in favour of bets on startups with shifting valuations. 4686.T hit limit-high, rising 19.6% after the software developer reported strong profit growth in April-June.
Sumitomo Osaka Cement 5232.T rose 7.6% after its earnings beat market expectations.
But not all the earnings reports were rosy.
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