Nikkei edges higher, set for best week since May-end on strong earnings

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TOKYO, Aug 6 (Reuters) - The Nikkei stock average inched higher on Friday, on track for its best weekly jump in more than two months on strong earnings, but broadly markets were mixed as traders adjusted positions ahead of key U.S. jobs data later in the day and a long weekend in Japan.

The Nikkei ended the morning session 0.06% higher at 27,744.24, while the broader Topix slipped 0.1% to 1,927.10.

The spate of strong earnings that has lifted the Nikkei this week continued, with Fujikura surging 14.86%, Nikon Corp rallying 8.35% and video game developer Konami Holdings up 5.89%.

Shionogi & Co. jumped 5.47% amid reports it would seek approval for a new COVID-19 treatment by year-end.

The Nikkei was on track for a 1.69% weekly gain, the most since a 2.94% jump in the period to May 28.

There were some earnings disappointments too, with Kobe Steel's 9.28% slump dragging on the index.

Nintendo, which isn't a component of the Nikkei, dropped 8.32% after reporting its financial results.

The Topix growth index fell 0.25%, compared with a 0.05% rise in the value index.

"Selling as people adjust positions ahead of U.S. payrolls and the three-day weekend is weighing on the market," said a market participant at a domestic securities firm.

The U.S. Federal Reserve has made a labour market recovery a condition for removing monetary stimulus.

Consensus expectations among 80 economists in a Reuters survey is for 870,000 jobs to have been added in July, but estimates range widely from 350,000 to 1.6 million.

Despite the Nikkei's strong performance this week, it remains stuck below 28,000 since mid-July, the start of a fifth wave of COVID-19 infections.

The situation is worsening, keeping a lid on gains for the index, with Japan seeing an unprecedented 15,263 new infections on Thursday, led by a record 5,042 cases in Olympics-host Tokyo.

(Reporting by Tokyo markets team; Editing by Rashmi Aich)

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