Japan stocks seen rising on Wall Street, yen

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Tokyo, Nov 26: Japanese stocks are expected to rise on Monday, buoyed by a Friday Wall Street rally on retailers and banks that is likely to lift shares in Japanese banks, such as Mitsubishi UFJ Financial Group, as well.

Another stock to watch may be Sanyo Electric Co Ltd, which has decided to book an additional loss of more than 100 billion yen ($923 million) in its parent-only earnings for the year ended March 2001 after reviewing its past results, the Nikkei business daily said on Saturday.

A slightly more settled yen is also expected to keep Tokyo shares firm by leading to buying of exporters' shares.

''What with the combination of the Wall Street rise and the dollar in the 108 yen range, Tokyo stocks are likely to find support and rise, challenging 15,000,'' said Hiroichi Nishi, general manager at the equity division of Nikko Cordial Securities.

''Futures did well in Chicago and the market was also oversold in a technical sense, all of which should lead to a bit of a rally.'' But lingering concerns about U.S. economic health, along with a lack of strong overall buying factors, are expected to keep rises limited.

Discount chain Target led retailers higher on Wall Street as droves of shoppers turned out -- in some cases before dawn -- for Black Friday, the official beginning of the holiday shopping season.

Shares of JPMorgan Chase, Bank of America and Citigroup all rose more than 2 percent. The three banks, spearheading an effort to establish a superfund to ease problems in the credit market, are expected to seek support from others in the industry, the Wall Street Journal reported.

As a result, bank shares should rise in Tokyo on short-covering, although due to last week's selling -- which saw the Nikkei touch a 16-month low on Thursday -- most shares are ripe for short-covering.

The Nikkei is expected to trade from 14,750 to 15,100.

The Nikkei closed at 14,888.77 on Thursday, the last day of trade last week, up by 0.34 percent, after having earlier hit a fresh 16-month low of 14,669.85. The broader TOPIX finished nearly flat, down 0.09 percent at 1,437.38.

In a sign of how the market may move, Nikkei futures traded in Chicago on Friday finished at 15,000 compared to 14,770 in Osaka on Thursday.

In holiday-shortened Friday trade, The Dow Jones industrial average was up 181.84 points, or 1.42 percent, at 12,980.88. The Standard&Poor's 500 Index was up 23.93 points, or 1.69 percent, at 1,440.70. The Nasdaq Composite Index was up 34.45 points, or 1.34 percent, at 2,596.60.


-- Bridgestone Corp Top Japanese tyre maker said on Thursday it would raise prices on March 1 for replacement tyres, tubes and flaps in Japan, and for winter tyres on April 1.

-- Fujitsu Ltd Fujitsu reported a 62 percent drop in quarterly profit because of falling hard drive prices and a bigger tax bill, and it kept its full-year outlook below market expectations.

-- Astellas Pharma Inc The drugmaker said it would buy back up to 8 million of its own shares representing 1.5 percent of its total shares outstanding, or up to 40 billion yen worth.

-- NIS Group Co U.S. private equity firm TPG plans to spend more than 30 billion yen to take a 30-40 percent stake in Japanese lender NIS Group Co, the Nikkei business daily said on Saturday.


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