TOKYO, Oct 2 Japan's Nikkei stock average is likely to open higher on Tuesday and may ris

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TOKYO, Oct 2 (Reuters) Japan's Nikkei stock average is likely to open higher on Tuesday and may rise above the psychologically key 17,000 as investor snap up exporters such as Sony Corp following a jump on Wall Street and a fall in the yen.

KDDI Corp will be a focal point after the Nikkei business daily said the mobile phone operator plans to introduce a new fee system in November that cuts call charges by roughly 30 percent but raises handset prices in turn. KDDI rival NTT DoCoMo is expected to follow suit, the newspaper said.

Another stock in the spotlight is Matsushita Electric Industrial Co after the Nikkei said it sold all 17 of its large domestic distribution facilities to a real estate developer and will use the 85 billion yen in proceeds to strengthen its core businesses such as plasma screen TVs.

''Exporters are likely to lead the market on the yen's slide against the dollar. Financials are also expected to be bought amid growing expectations that the worst may soon be over'' in the market turmoil of the last few months, said Kazuhiro Takahashi, a general manager of equity marketing at Daiwa Securities SMBC.

Still, he said the upside was also heavy as investors remain cautious about making big bets ahead of U.S. employment data due out later this week.

''The Nikkei is likely to test 17,000, but it's unlikely investors will keep buying to send the index further up,'' he said.

Market participants said the benchmark Nikkei average will likely move between 16,900 and 17,100 on Tuesday.

Nikkei futures traded in Chicago finished Monday at 17,115, which was 265 points above the Osaka close, pointing to a higher opening.

The Nikkei finished Monday up 0.4 percent at 16,845.96.

U.S. stocks surged on Monday, sending the Dow to a record close as investors bet that Wall Street may have seen the worst of the credit squeeze after three global banks detailed expected losses from the crisis.

The Dow Jones industrial average finished up 1.4 percent at 14,087.55. The Standard&Poor's 500 Index gained 1.3 percent and the Nasdaq Composite Index rose 1.5 percent.

The dollar was traded around at 115.80 yen after climbing 0.8 percent to 115.71 yen in New York on soaring U.S. stock prices.

STOCKS TO WATCH -- Sony Corp Sony's financial arm will raise $3 billion after setting its IPO price at the top end of an indicated range as investors looked past the U.S. subprime crisis and bet on its growth potential in the banking and insurance markets.

-- Mazda Motor Corp Mazda's sales in the United States rose an estimated 24 percent in September from a year earlier before adjusting for the number of selling days, mainly driven by increased supply of the popular Mazda3 compact, an executive said on Monday.

-- Kanematsu Corp The trading house said on Monday it would sell a total 10 percent stake in an Indonesian liquid natural gas project it owns through two affiliates for 15.1 billion yen to oil units and affiliates of Nippon Oil Corp., Mitsui&Co, Mitsubishi Corp and INPEX Holdings Inc.

-- Shinsei Bank Ltd Shinsei Bank said on Monday it will book a valuation loss of 27 billion yen on its first-half parent earnings after being forced to write down the share value of two of its affiliates. It said the loss would not affect group earnings.

-- House Foods Corp House Foods said on Monday it had bought the 34 percent it did not already own in health food joint venture House Wellness Foods Corp from venture partner Takeda Pharmaceutical Co for about 10 billion yen. The venture's mainstay products are beverages such as ''C1000 Vitamin lemon'' and ''C1000 lemon water''.

Reuters MP VP0610

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