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Tokyo stocks flat; Nintendo gains after revision

Written by: Staff
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TOKYO, Apr 4 (Reuters) The Nikkei share average was flat on Tuesday as consumer finance firms gained on bargain hunting while some investors, turning wary after the Nikkei's seven-session winning streak, took profits in Honda Motor Co. and other recent gainers.

Nintendo Co. Ltd., listed in Osaka, rose after revising up its 2005/06 forecast.

''We see some profit-taking but others are also picking up stocks on dips,'' said Hiroichi Nishi, general manager of equity marketing at Nikko Cordial Securities Inc.

Nishi said the market sentiment remains bullish.

''The majority of market participants see the Nikkei rising as high as 18,000, although the 17,300 level will be strong resistance for the Nikkei,'' he added.

The Nikkei was up 1.0 point at 17,334.31 as of 0534 GMT. The benchmark has risen a total of 843 points in the past seven-day winning streak.

The TOPIX index was also flat at 1,754.77.

Nintendo rose 2.6 percent to 17,900 yen after it said it is likely beat its group net profit estimate for the business year ended last month by 27 percent, helped by strong demand for software and a portable game machine.

Consumer financing companies rang up gains as investors sought undervalued shares. Aiful Corp. is trading at an estimated price to earnings (PE) of 13 times while Mizuho Financial Group Inc. is at 18 times.

Aiful gained 6 percent to 8,430 yen, even after revising down its 2005/06 earnings forecasts. Its rivals Promise Co. Ltd. and Takefuji Corp. also rose, up 2.1 percent to 7,410 yen and 3.5 percent to 7,740 yen respectively.

In the property sector, developer Tokyo Tatemono Co. Ltd.

soared 3.7 percent to 1,358 yen after Daiwa Research Institute raised its rating on the stock to ''1'' from ''2'', citing the company's likely expansion in its property securitisation business in 2006.

Metal-related stocks shone as U.S. copper futures shot to an all-time high on Monday in New York and gold hit a 25-year peak in London.

Sumitomo Metal Mining Co. Ltd., Japan's top gold and nickel producer, rose 1.8 percent at 1,668 yen.

But auto makers came under profit-taking pressure.

Honda, Japan's No.3 auto maker, was down 0.4 percent at 7,360 yen. Honda hit a lifetime high of 7,500 yen last week amid strong expectations for its earnings. Toyota Motor Corp., the world's second biggest auto maker, lost 0.3 percent to 6,490 yen.

REUTERS SS BST1228

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