Japan stocks may open lower, banks in focus again

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Tokyo, Nov 6: Japanese stocks may take some losses at the open on Tuesday, with banks such as Mitsubishi UFJ Financial Group in the spotlight again after Citigroup's warning of more losses hit US shares.

But company-specific news such as earnings reports will likely be the main market driver later in the session, said Kazuhiro Takahashi, general manager at the equity marketing department at Daiwa Securities SMBC.

''Japanese stocks pretty much priced in the Citi news during yesterday's session, and the Nikkei is likely to trade to cement the downside,'' he said.

One stock in focus may be Takeda Pharmaceutical Co Ltd The drug maker lifted its annual profit outlook on Monday on strong sales of its Actos diabetes pill but failed to meet expectations and said little to dispel worries about a key cholesterol-lowering drug candidate.

Takahashi said growing confusion over domestic politics will also keep the market from going much higher.

Senior officials of Japan's main opposition party struggled on Monday to persuade their leader, Ichiro Ozawa, to stay in his post, trying to avert the possibility of him quitting the party and backing the government bloc.

Nikkei futures traded in Chicago closed at 16,205.00 on Monday, down 95 points from the Osaka close indicating a slightly lower opening.

Market participants said the Nikkei average is likely to trade between 16,200 and 16,400. Hit by widening credit fears, the benchmark ended Monday down 1.5 percent at 16,268.92, its lowest close since Sept. 18.

On Monday, the US Dow Jones industrial average fell 0.4 per cent, while the S&P financial index fell to a two-year low and Citigroup's stock fell to its lowest in 4-{ years.

Stocks To Watch-Chugai Pharmaceutical Co.

Chugai, the Japanese partner of Roche Holding AG, said in a statement on Monday it will halve this winter's Tamiflu supply in Japan to a quantity sufficient for 6 million people.

- Sumitomo Electric Industries Ltd, Nissin Electric Co Ltd, Toyokuni Electric Cable Co Sumitomo Electric said on Monday it would launch a tender offer bid for power capacitors maker Nissin Electric, offering 800 yen per share. It would buy up to 20 million shares, putting the value of the offer at 16 billion yen.

The company said it would also launch a bid for Toyokuni Electric Cable, which manufactures cables for electric power and communications, in a deal worth 1.42 billion yen. Sumitomo will offer 520 yen for every Toyokuni share tendered.

- Konica Minolta Holdings Inc Japanese office equipment maker Konica Minolta Holdings Inc may boost its dividend payouts and will build a new plant for high-tech film used in LCD panels to meet growing demand, its chief executive said.

- Toyo Tire&Rubber Co Ltd The government said on Monday it would revoke its certification on Toyo Tire&Rubber's fire-resistant building materials after the company reported it had used different materials for performance tests than those in actual products.

The company said costs for fixing the affected buildings are estimated to be about 4 billion yen.

- Tokuyama Corp The world's current fever for solar power may not be sustainable and could be a bubble, an executive at Japanese silicon maker Tokuyama said on Monday.

- Mizuho Financial Group Inc Mizuho said it may change the share swap ratio to be used in its planned merger of brokerage units Shinko Securities and Mizuho Securities, after unlisted Mizuho Securities posted a first-half loss on subprime losses.


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