Nikkei gains on positive earnings, virus worries linger



TOKYO, Aug 5 (Reuters) - Japan's Nikkei share average rose on Thursday, underpinned by upbeat earnings from Nippon Yusen 9101.T , Hitachi Zozen 7004.T , and Sony Group 6758.T , although gains were capped by concerns about surging cases of COVID-19.

The country reported an unprecedented 14,207 jump in new cases on Tuesday, led by a record 4,166 infections for Olympics-host Tokyo.

Disappointing financial results from Ricoh 7752.T also dragged the index, tumbling 11.87%.

The tech-heavy Nikkei .N225 ended the morning session 0.34% higher, narrowly outpacing a 0.26% rise in the broader Topix .TOPX , as technology shares tracked a firm finish on Wall Street.

The Topix growth index .TOPXG added 0.37%, outstripping the value index's .TOPXV 0.15% advance.

"There continue to be concerns that Japan's stock market is top-heavy, but a string of positive earnings seems to have improved sentiment," said a market player at a domestic securities firm.

The Nikkei has steadily retreated since surging to a multi-decade high above 30,000 in mid-February, and has oscillated in a range of around 27,300-28,000 since mid-July.

Nippon Yusen 9101.T was the Nikkei's top performer, jumping 8.8%. Fellow shippers Mitsui OSK Lines 9104.T rallied 6.04% and Kawasaki Kisen 9107.T jumped 3.85%.

Sea transport .ISHIP.T was the top subsector on the Topix by far, surging 7.05%.

Infrastructure and energy company Hitachi Zozen 7004.T rallied 7.19%, while Sony Group 6758.T rose 2.08%.

Rakuten Group 4755.T advanced 7.5% after the company entered a partnership to build a new mobile network in Germany.
Reporting by Tokyo markets team; editing by Uttaresh.V

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