* Nikkei almost flat as trade worries stem market rally
* Earning outlook continues to deteriorate
* SoftBank Group falls as T-Mobile/Sprint deal faces more hurdle
* Nissan down, proxy advisor calls for oust of CEO
By Hideyuki Sano
TOKYO, June 12 (Reuters) – Japan’s Nikkei share average struggled to extend gains on Wednesday after a three-day winning streak, as the White House’s latest tough stance on China kept worries about a global slowdown intact.
The Nikkei rose 0.09% to 21,223.36, with an immediate resistance seen at its 100-day moving average now at 21,272. The broader Topix shed 0.07% to 1,560.16, with decliners outnumbering advancers by about 11 to nine.
The market’s recovery over the past several sessions from multi-month lows touched earlier this month is running out of steam, due largely to concerns about possible hits to the global economy from trade spats between the United States and China.
U.S. President Donald Trump said on Tuesday that he was holding up a trade deal with China and had no interest in moving ahead unless Beijing agrees again to four or five “major points” that Trump did not specify.
“If you list up negative factors, there are so many, starting from U.S-China frictions and Brexit. When you try to list up positive factors, they are few and far between,” said Seiki Orimi, senior investment strategist at Mitsubishi UFJ Morgan Stanley Securities.
Indeed, Japanese companies’ earnings outlook continued to deteriorate. The forward earnings per share of Topix has dropped 6.7% from its peak in late last year and is now down 2.1% from a year ago.
In a rare bright spot, Japan’s machinery orders, a key leading gauge of capital spending, unexpectedly rose for a third straight month in April, helped by the strength in domestic demand.
Yet that meant little in light of the overwhelming uncertainties Sino-U.S. frictions are posing to companies’ long-term investment plans, particularly in the technology sector.
“Even if we have some good numbers, people won’t take them at face value given what’s going on between the U.S. and China,” said Hiroshi Watanabe, economist at Sony Financial Holdings.
“Cyclically speaking, it is about the time the global semi-conductor cycle could bottom out. But trade in tech products are unlikely to recover given disruptions to supply chains, delaying any potential bottom further,” he said.
Electric machinery company shares were down 0.1%, broadly in line with the overall market.
SoftBank Group fell 2.0% after 10 U.S. states led by New York and California filed a lawsuit to stop T-Mobile US Inc’s $26 billion purchase of Sprint Corp, a subsidiary of SoftBank Group.
Nissan Motor fell 0.9% as its governance crisis appeared to deepen. Leading proxy advisory firm ISS has urged Nissan shareholders to vote against the reappointment of Chief Executive Officer Hiroto Saikawa while the rift with its alliance partner Renault over governance reform grew further. (Editing by Sam Holmes)