Japan stocks may rise on Wall St rally, softer yen

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Tokyo, Oct 10: Japanese stocks are likely to keep rising on Wednesday, led by exporters such as Canon Inc on a softening yen and after U.S. shares finished at record highs on interest rate cut hopes.

Shin-Etsu Chemical Co Ltd may be among the gainers. The world's biggest silicon wafer maker is likely to report a record group pretax profit of 300 billion yen ($2.6 billion) for the year ending in March thanks to strong wafer sales, the Nikkei business daily reported on Wednesday.

''Japanese stocks will likely keep advancing after the Dow and S&P jumped to close at record highs and the yen is relatively weak against the dollar and the euro,'' said Hiroichi Nishi, a general manager of equity marketing at Nikko Cordial Securities.

''Trade may slow on the upside on concerns the market has risen too high, but the market is still bullish thanks to the improved situation, including receding worries about the health of the U.S. economy and increasing hopes for upward earnings revisions.'' Nikkei futures traded in Chicago finished at 17,310 on Tuesday, 110 points above the Osaka close, pointing to a higher opening.

In New York on Tuesday, the dollar slipped 0.3 percent against the yen to 117.14 It was at 117.18 in early Asian trade.

Market participants said the Nikkei will likely trade between 17,100 and 17,350 on Wednesday. The benchmark finished the previous session up 0.6 percent at 17,159.90.

The Dow and S&P 500 closed at record highs on Tuesday after minutes from the Federal Reserve's last meeting showed inflation expectations were contained, leaving open the question of whether another rate cut was near.

The Dow Jones industrial average climbed 0.9 percent to end at 14,164.53, and the Standard&Poor's 500 Index ended up 0.8 percent at 1,565.15.


-- Sony Corp Sony said it would cut the price of its PlayStation 3 game console by 10 percent in Japan and launch a new model, in a bid to spur demand in the run-up to the critical year-end shopping season.

-- Mitsubishi Heavy Industries Ltd Mitsubishi Heavy said it aims to sell 1,000 regional passenger jets over the next 20 to 30 years, grabbing one-fifth of expected new demand in a market now dominated by Canada's Bombardier Inc and Brazil's Embraer.

-- Mazda Motor Corp Ford Motor Co and Mazda said on Tuesday they would build a second, $500 million plant in Thailand to produce 100,000 cars a year to meet the region's growing demand for compact cars.

-- Nikko Cordial Corp Citigroup said on Tuesday it would merge its retail securities business in Japan with unit Nikko Cordial, as part of the U.S. financial firm's push in the world's second-largest economy.

-- IHI The heavy machinery maker that recently issued a shock loss warning due to problems in its energy and plant divisions said on Tuesday it would postpone its first-half earnings announcement as it will undergo an audit.



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