Tokyo stocks likely to open higher, tracking Wall St

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TOKYO, Nov 14 (Reuters) Japanese stocks are seen set to open higher on Wednesday, led by exporters like Sony Corp, following a rally on Wall Street and a pause in the yen's sharp rise against the dollar.

One of the stocks in the spotlight is Tokyo Electron Ltd The world's second-biggest chip gear maker posted a 60.5 percent rise in quarterly operating profit on a backlog of orders from Taiwan memory makers, and it kept its annual outlook slightly above the market consensus.

"The Tokyo market is likely to bounce today, tracking gains on Wall Street," said Masayoshi Yano, senior manager of investment information at Tokai Tokyo Securities.

"Exporters are likely to be bought as the yen's advance against the dollar has eased somewhat. I also expect a rise in financial stocks given the rally in these shares in the U.S." Market participants said the Nikkei is likely to trade between 15,100 and 15,500.

Nikkei futures traded in Chicago closed at 15,435 on Tuesday, 395 points above the Osaka close indicating a higher opening.

The Nikkei average fell 0.5 percent on Tuesday, extending its losing streak into an eighth straight session, as energy-related stocks dropped on lower oil prices and the stronger-than-expected GDP data failed to lift the market.

The Nikkei average fell 0.46 percent to 15,126.63, marking the longest losing streak since September 2004. The broader TOPIX index also declined 0.11 percent to 1,454.73.

The dollar was around 110.96 yen after rising 1.3 percent to 110.90 yen in late New York.

U.S. stocks snapped a four-day losing streak on Tuesday with Nasdaq notching its biggest gain in more than four years after news that Apple Inc was in talks to offer iPhones in China sent investors bargain hunting among battered technology stocks.

The Dow Jones industrial average surged 2.46 percent and the Standard&Poor's 500 Index gained 2.91 percent. The Nasdaq Composite Index shot up 3.46 percent.

Japan's corporate earning season is well under way, with Mizuho Financial Group Inc scheduled to announce its results after the close.

Japan's largest banks are set to report double-digit drops in first-half net profit, hurt by slack demand for loans and losses related to the U.S. subprime market.

STOCKS TO WATCH -- Canon Inc, Tokki Corp Q> Canon said it aims to take a majority stake in Tokki Corp, a supplier of flat panel-making equipment, for 7.6 billion yen or more to speed development of organic light-emitting diode (OLED) panels.

-- Starbucks Coffee Japan Starbucks Coffee Japan posted a 64.6 percent jump in net profit to 2.1 billion yen for the six months to September on a parent basis, thanks to price hikes and the opening of new stores.

The company also revised up its full-year forecast, expecting a net profit of 3.45 billion yen, up from its previous projection of 3.2 billion yen.

-- NEC Electronics Corp Japanese chipmaker NEC Electronics said on Tuesday it was in talks about a possible tie-up for liquid crystal display driver production.

NEC Electronics also reported a swing to a quarterly operating profit of 4.08 billion yen in July-September, up from a loss of 1.16 billion yen the previous year, helped by cost cuts and sales of drivers for large LCDs and chips for other consumer electronics.

But it kept its forecast to break even in operating terms and for a net loss of 15 billion yen.

-- Shinsei Bank Ltd Shinsei Bank Ltd said on Tuesday it would fall further short of its first-half profit outlook on Tuesday, after it was forced to nearly triple its reserves against investments in the troubled U.S. mortgage market.

-- Kajima Corp, Taisei Corp, Shimizu Corp T> Major Japanese construction firms on Tuesday logged steep falls in first-half operating profits and cut their outlooks, battered by a jump in building material prices, higher labour costs and fierce competition.

-- Hitachi Ltd T> Hitachi won a 320 billion yen order from South African state-owned utility Eskom Holdings Ltd to supply six boilers for a major coal power station, the Nikkei business daily reported on Wednesday.

-- Patlite Corp T> The founder of Patlite, which is a manufacturer of revolving lights and sirens, aims to take it private, offering 1,250 yen for the all the shares it does not own in a deal worth up to 22.7 billion yen.

REUTERS RC VP0512

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