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Nikkei edges up as Mizuho gains, Konica falls

Written by: Staff

TOKYO, Nov 22: The Nikkei share average edged up 0.3 percent on Wednesday, as a rebound by banks such as Mizuho Financial Group Inc. helped offset a decline by Konica Minolta Holdings Inc., which fell after it said it would issue 70 billion yen in convertible bonds.

Caution ahead of national holidays in both the U.S. and Japanese markets prevented investors from aggressively buying, even after steep falls this week.

''With the holiday tomorrow, it is tough for investors to hold positions at the moment,'' said Nagayuki Yamagishi, strategist at Mitsubishi UFJ Securities.

''At present levels the market looks a little oversold. While expectations at the beginning of the year might have been too high ... now they seem too low. If you look at fundamentals, there is no reason to be this bearish.'' The Nikkei was up 52.96 points at 15,787.10 as of 0109 GMT. The broader TOPIX index was up 8.61 points at 1,541.56.

Mizuho rose for the first time in five sessions, adding 1.1 percent to 814,000 yen. Shares of Japan's second-largest lender have fallen some 12 percent in the past month, hit by concern about its earnings.

Third-ranked lender Sumitomo Mitsui Financial Group Inc. gained 1.7 percent to 1.19 million yen. The bank plans to increase its 2006/07 dividend by up to 50 percent, two newspapers reported on Wednesday.

Konica Minolta dropped 3.3 percent to 1,682 yen on fears of share price dilution after said it would issue 70 billion yen worth of three- and 10-year euroyen convertible bonds to raise money for capital spending and bond redemption.


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