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Tokyo stocks seen firm, GDP and machine data eyed

Written by: Staff

TOKYO, Sep 11 (Reuters) Tokyo stocks are expected to edge higher on Monday with gains on wall Street having restored some confidence, although lower oil prices could weigh on energy-related issues such as INPEX Holdings Inc.

Market analyst said investors would take a close look at domestic data to gauge the strength of capital spending, currently the main driver for a recovery in Japan's economy.

Revised second-quarter gross domestic product (GDP) data will be released just before the opening, while July machinery orders data is due at 2 p.m. (0500 GMT).

But any gains are seen limited amid caution about the profit outlook at home and due to a fall in trading volume, which partly reflects a lack of activity by day traders and other aggressive buyers, they said.

Koichi Seki, manager at Chuo Securities' sales marketing department, said retail investors have been burnt by the recent market retreat, and their lack of participation will limit gains in share prices.

''Aside from that, the market tends to follow the trend of the New York market,'' he said.

Nikkei index futures traded in Chicago suggested a higher opening. Chicago's Nikkei December futures closed at 16,025 on Friday, up 35 points from the Osaka finish.

Market participants said the Nikkei average would likely move between 15,900 and 16,200 on Monday.

It rose 0.42 percent to 16,080.46 on Friday.

Forecasts for revised April-June GDP by 11 economists centred on growth of 0.2 percent quarter-on-quarter, and annualised growth of 1.0 percent.

Core private-sector machinery orders are expected to have fallen 5.3 percent in July from the previous month, according to a separate poll of economists.

STOCKS TO WATCH -- Nippon Mining Holdings Inc.

Oil refiner Nippon Mining Holdings on Friday revised up its net profit forecast for the six months to September to 12 billion yen (2.6 million) from a previous estimate of 4.5 billion yen (.48 million).

-- Fintech Global Inc., Harada Industry Co. Ltd., Tanaka Seimitsu Kogyo Co. Ltd. and Kimoto Co. Ltd.

Fintech Global, which provides investment banking services, said on Friday it will conduct a five-for-one share split on Oct.

1 for shareholders as of September 30.

Likewise, Harada Industry Co. Ltd., a car antenna maker, automobile parts maker Tanaka Seimitsu Kogyo, and Kimoto, a maker of speciality films for drafting, surveying and plate making, unveiled two-for-one share split plans.

-- Mizuho Financial Group Inc.

Mizuho Corporate Bank has entered into the final stage of separate negotiations with two major South Korean banks about alliances on investment banking, business daily Nihon Keizai said on Sunday, a report confirmed by sources in Seoul.

-- Elpida Memory Inc.

Elpida has entered talks with Taiwan's Powerchip Semiconductor Corp. and local authorities about building a joint memory chip plant in Taiwan, the Nihon Keizai reported on Sunday.

-- All Nippon Airways Co. Ltd (ANA) Japan's second-biggest airline is set to launch two low-cost carriers -- one for international services, one for domestic -- by sometime in the first half of 2007, the Yomiuri Shimbun daily said on Saturday.


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