Japanese stocks seen up on Wall St, weaker yen

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TOKYO, Sep 14 (Reuters) Japanese stocks are likely to move higher on Friday, led by exporters such as Toyota Motor Corp following gains on Wall Street and a weakening of the yen against the dollar.

Energy shares such as INPEX Holdings Inc could also gain ground after oil hit an all-time high over a barrel.

Friday marks the settlement of Nikkei futures and options, an event that happens every three months and can add to market volatility. The ''special quotation'' (SQ) settlement price is calculated from the opening prices of Nikkei 225 constituents.

''Following the gains in Wall Street, the Tokyo market is likely to advance, though there may be some volatility in the opening due to SQ,'' said Tsuyoshi Segawa, equity strategist at Shinko Securities.

''Exporters and high-tech shares are likely to rise given the dollar's gain against the yen,'' Segawa said.

Analysts predicted Tokyo's benchmark Nikkei average will move between 15,800 and 16,000 on Friday after inching up 0.2 percent in the previous session to 15,821.19.

Nikkei futures traded in Chicago finished at 15,980 on Thursday, 180 points higher than the close of trade in Osaka indicating a higher opening.

Wall Street rose on Thursday, led by investment banks and automakers.

The Dow Jones industrial average rose 1 percent, the Standard&Poor's 500 Index climbed 0.8 percent and the tech-heavy Nasdaq Composite Index gained 0.4 percent.

The dollar was traded around 114.82 yen after rising nearly 1 percent to 115.25 yen in late New York trade.

Investors may be wary of pushing the Nikkei above the psychologically key 16,000 mark amid political uncertainty following Prime Minister Shinzo Abe's resignation and ahead of an interest rate decision by the U.S. Federal Reserve on Sept. 18.

Japan's ruling Liberal Democratic Party has decided to hold an election for party president -- and hence premier -- on Sept.


STOCKS TO WATCH -- Electric Power Development Co (J-Power) Electric Power Development, more commonly known as J-Power, plans to make a full-fledged entry into the water utility business through private finance initiative (PFI) projects, the Nikkei business daily reported on Friday.

-- Aeon Co, Daiei Inc Aeon, Japan's biggest retailer, said on Thursday it will spend 9.2 billion yen (.5 million) to buy an additional stake in supermarket operator Maruetsu Inc from Daiei.

-- Sumitomo Metal Mining Co Ltd Nonferrous metals smelter Sumitomo Metal Mining on Thursday revised up its forecast of six-month net profit to 89 billion yen from 61 billion yen, citing higher copper and nickel prices.

It also lifted its full-year net profit forecast to 140 billion yen from 128 billion yen.

-- Shinsei Bank Ltd, Shinki Co Ltd Shinsei Bank said on Thursday it will spend about 7.7 billion yen to purchase new shares of its affiliate Shinki, injecting capital into the money-losing consumer finance firm.

Shinki also said on Thursday it would book a net loss of 15 billion yen for the year to March 2008, not a net profit of 600 million as it had previously estimated.

-- Jupiter Telecommunications Co, Dentsu Inc Cable TV operator Jupiter Telecommunications plans to work together with advertising firm Dentsu to introduce interactive advertising on its cable television service, the Nikkei business daily reported on Friday.

Reuters SZ VP0553

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