* Nikkei ends down 0.19 pct after touching 7-week peak
* Panasonic slips after cutting earnings forecast
By Shinichi Saoshiro
TOKYO, Feb 5 (Reuters) – Japan’s Nikkei index surrendered modest gains to end lower on Tuesday, snapping a three-day rally as the market digested a slew of corporate earnings.
The Nikkei ended 0.19 percent lower at 20,844.45 after briefly touching 20,981.23, its highest mark since Dec. 19.
The Nikkei had risen for the past three sessions and touched the seven-week peak after all three major indices on Wall Street closed near session highs on Monday.
“Truly bearish factors are absent, but the market is tackling a series of earnings and that has slowed the recent advance,” said Soichiro Monji, senior economist at Daiwa SB Investments.
“Japanese corporate earnings have been quite good on the whole, but they tend to pale in comparison with some of the more bullish results witnessed on Wall Street,” he added.
Optimism over U.S.-China trade relations and high expectations for Alphabet Inc earnings boosted technology shares on Wall Street.
In Tokyo, index heavyweight Fast Retailing shed 2.8 percent after the Uniqlo clothing chain operator said domestic same-store sales fell 1 percent in January from the previous year.
Panasonic Corp fell 2.5 percent after the electronics firm cut its annual profit outlook, saying a slowing Chinese economy hurt demand for auto components and factory equipment.
Electronic products maker Ibiden Co sank 12.6 percent after slashing its net profit forecast for the year to March 2019 by roughly 90 percent amid decreasing demand in Europe for ceramic auto parts.
Cosmetics company Kao Corporation added 2.7 percent after raising its operating profit forecast for the year through March 2019 by 4.8 percent.
Aska Pharmaceutical advanced 3.3 percent after doubling its operating profit forecast for the year through March 2019 to 2 billion yen.
JCU Corporation, a maker of surface treatment materials such as rustproof coating for cars, jumped more than 18 percent after opting to buy back 3.77 percent of its shares outstanding.
The broader Topix edged up 0.1 percent to 1,582.88.
Of the Tokyo Stock Exchange’s (TSE) 33 subsectors, 22 were in positive territory. ($1 = 109.9800 yen) (Reporting by Shinichi Saoshiro; editing by Darren Schuettler)