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Japanese shares extend losses on lingering growth fears

Shinichi Saoshiro

TOKYO, Aug 16 (Reuters) - Japanese shares extended their losses on Friday morning as global recession worries offset much of the relief stemming from an overnight rebound in Wall Street stocks.

Still, overall losses were contained with the Nikkei share average down 0.27% at 20,351.26 as of 0149 GMT. The Index fell 1.2% in the previous session.

The Nikkei has lost 1.5% this week, during which an inversion of the U.S. Treasury yield curve -widely regarded as a recession signal- triggered a global sell-off in riskier assets.

The fears of a sharp downturn in growth have mainly been fed by a protracted Sino-U.S. trade war, which has already disrupted supply chains and hit export-reliant economies like Japan.

Index heavyweights including staffing and recruitment agency Recruit Holdings Co and casual clothing chain store operator Fast Retailing Co shed 3.7% and 0.7%, respectively.

Financial shares remained under pressure, with this week's sharp drop in bond yields seen hurting their profitability. Sumitomo Mitsui Financial Group was down 0.7% and Mitsubishi UFJ Financial Group shed 0.5%.

Exporters fared a little better as the yen's advance against the dollar stalled. Toyota Motor Corp edged up 0.15%, Panasonic added 0.4% and Hitachi gained 0.3%.

Semiconductor manufacturer Renesas climbed 1.5% after its U.S. peers such as Applied Materials Inc and Nvidia Corp posted upbeat results.

Other tech-related shares also gained, with Tokyo Electron rising 1.8% and Toshiba Corp adding 1.3%.

The broader Topix edged down 0.09% to 1,482.54. (Editing by Shri Navaratnam)