Japanese stocks seen rangebound before Fed meeting

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TOKYO, Sep 18 (Reuters) Japanese stocks are likely to move in a narrow range on Tuesday, as investors take a wait-and-see stance before the Federal Reserve policy meeting later in the day.

Financial shares such as Mizuho Financial Group Inc are likely to be sold on global credit concerns and following Japan's medium-ranking consumer loan firm Credia Co's announcement of its effective insolvency.

Toshiba Corp and Sony Corp may also be in the spotlight on Tuesday. Sony is in talks to sell its production facilities for advanced microchips used in its PlayStation 3 game console to Toshiba, sources close to the matter said on Saturday.

Separately, the Nikkei business daily reported on Tuesday Toshiba will sell a building in Tokyo's Ginza district to Tokyu Land Corp for slightly more than 150 billion yen (.3 billion) and use the money to bolster growth businesses such as flash memory chips.

"The prevailing mood in the market is to wait and see before the Fed meets," said Kazuhiro Takahashi, general manager at equity marketing department at Daiwa Securities SMBC.

The Fed is widely expected to lower its 5.25 percent benchmark funds rate by at least 25 basis points at its meeting.

Takahashi said exporters and high-tech shares are seen as likely to gain on the yen's slide against the dollar.

Analysts predicted Tokyo's benchmark Nikkei average will move between 15,900 and 16,150 on Tuesday after gaining 1.9 percent in Friday's session to 16,127.42.

All Japanese financial markets were closed on Monday for a public holiday.

Nikkei futures traded in Chicago finished at 16,005 on Monday.

U.S. stock indexes fell on Monday, led down by financials amid fresh concerns of credit woes following a rush by savers to withdraw deposits at Britain's Northern Rock The Dow Jones industrial average declined 0.29 percent, the Standard&Poor's 500 Index slipped 0.51 percent and the tech-heavy Nasdaq Composite Index shed 0.79 percent.

STOCKS TO WATCH -- Credia Co.

Credia said on Friday it had started rehabilitation proceedings with about 76 billion yen (0 million) in debt, becoming Japan's first listed consumer lender to fold amid an industry clampdown by lawmakers and the courts.

-- Tokyo Star Bank Ltd Tokyo Star Bank, up for sale by private equity fund Lone Star , lifted its full-year profit forecast by 35 percent on Friday due to a property sale.

-- TDK Corp TDK will enter the market for flash memory-based solid-state disk drives. It plans to start shipping next month samples of a 64 gigabyte model that can replace the hard-disk drive in a personal computer, the Nikkei business daily said on Monday.

TDK, which is a major producer of magnetic heads used in hard disk drives, aims to generate annual sales of 10 billion yen from the product after three years, the newspaper said.

-- Hitachi Ltd Hitachi on Friday widened its first-half net loss forecast to 35 billion yen from 25 billion yen after booking an impairment charge from closing a plasma display panel manufacturing facility.

-- Toyota Motor Corp Toyota, the world's biggest auto maker, plans to build a new car plant in Japan to revamp its production facilities, domestic media reported on Friday.

-- Kyocera Corp, Sanyo Electric Co Kyocera Corp is entering the final stage of talks to buy Sanyo Electric's loss-making mobile phone business, sources close to the matter said on Friday, in a deal that would create the world's No.7 cellphone provider.

-- Canon Inc Japanese digital camera and copier maker Canon said it would buy back up to a further 50 billion yen worth of its own shares, bringing the total of repurchased stock this year to about .9 billion.

-- Sony Corp, Toshiba Corp Sony is in talks to sell its production facilities for advanced microchips used in its PlayStation 3 game console to Toshiba, sources close to the matter said on Saturday.

Separately, Toshiba said on Saturday it has been subpoeaned by the U.S. Department of Justice about its flash memory business in the key U.S. market.

-- Toshiba, Tokyu Land Corp Toshiba will sell a building in Tokyo's Ginza district to Tokyu Land for slightly more than 150 billion yen and use the money to bolster growth businesses such as flash memory chips, the Nikkei business daily reported on Tuesday.

-- Mitsubishi Materials Corp Mitsubishi Materials, a nonferrous metals smelter, will likely post a 12 percent rise in group pretax profit to 120 billion yen for the year to March 2008, the Nikkei business daily reported on Saturday.

That would beat Mitsubishi Materials' previous forecast by 10 billion yen. The company is benefitting from higher copper prices as well as strong demand for tools and electronic materials in emerging markets, the newspaper said.

-- Aeon Co Ltd Lehman Brothers, Mitsubishi UFJ Financial Group Inc and 14 other firms will pay 19.2 billion yen to take 64 percent of the bank being set up by Japanese retailer Aeon Co Ltd, newspapers said on Saturday.

-- Japan Airlines Corp (JAL) JAL will start talks with potential buyers next month about selling part of its credit card business and may consider unloading a majority stake in the unit, sources familiar with the matter told Reuters on Sunday.

-- H.I.S. Co H.I.S., a discount seller of airline tickets, plans to enter the nonlife insurance business as early as this autumn through a joint venture, the Nikkei business daily reported on Saturday.

REUTERS RC BST0508

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