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Nikkei may follow Wall St. up but machinery data key

By Staff
Google Oneindia News

TOKYO, July 9 (Reuters) A rise on Wall Street is likely to help Japanese exporters such as Advantest Corp. on Monday, but the market is seen taking its early cues from machinery orders data due just before the start of trade.

One stock in focus may be Toshiba Corp. A Toshiba source said on Saturday the firm is in talks to sell 10 percent of its stake in nuclear power unit Westinghouse to Kazakh state firm Kazatomprom.

''Today's market moves are likely to depend on the reading in the machinery data,'' said Kazuhiro Takahashi, a general manager in the equity marketing department at Daiwa Securities SMBC.

''If the data show solid results, the Nikkei could try for 18,300 as machinery stocks are likely to gain.'' Nikkei futures traded in Chicago finished Friday at 18,205.00, 55 points above the Osaka close pointing to a slightly higher opening.

Takahashi said the Nikkei would likely move between 18,000 and 18,250 on Monday after ending the previous session down 0.44 percent at 18,140.94, down for the first time in seven sessions.

Core machinery orders, a highly volatile figure regarded as a leading gauge of capital spending, likely rose 2.3 percent in May, according to economists polled by Reuters.

U.S. stocks gained on Friday as rising oil prices lifted energy shares and a strong jobs report reassured investors about the economy. The Dow Jones industrial average ended up 0.34 percent at 13,611.68.

Separately, senior Toshiba executives told Reuters on Sunday they expect the company's LCD TV business in China to grow by more than 25 percent next year amid strong consumer demand ahead of events such as the Beijing Olympics in 2008 and the Shanghai World Expo in 2010.

STOCKS TO WATCH -- All Nippon Airways Co.

ANA aims to boost earnings by 10 billion yen a year by introducing Boeing Co.'s new 787 Dreamliner midsize jetliner, the Nikkei business daily reported on Monday, citing ANA President Mineo Yamamoto. Yamamoto also said he wanted to continue paying at least 5 yen per share in annual dividends, and was willing to raise that, according to the report.

In a separate interview with the Yomiuri newspaper, the ANA chief said his company may consider launching a commercial route between Haneda airport in Tokyo and Russia as early as fiscal 2009.

-- DaVinci Advisors, TOC Inc.

Property investor DaVinci Advisors has secured the support of shareholders holding about 47 percent of TOC, nearly enough to grab control of the building leasing firm in what would be Japan's first successful hostile bid, the Nikkei newspaper said on Saturday.

-- Resona Holdings Inc.

Nippon Life Insurance Co., Japan's largest insurer, plans to invest ''tens of billions of yen'' in Resona Holdings by buying preferred shares to be issued by Resona later this year, Kyodo news agency reported on Saturday.

-- Toray Industries Inc.

Toray, the sole supplier of carbon fibres used in Boeing's 787 Dreamliner, will consider additional investments in its carbon fibre output capacity if demand stays strong, a Toray executive told Reuters on Friday.

-- Sony Corp.

Sony President Ryoju Chubachi told Reuters in an interview on Friday that the operating profit margin in its mainstay electronics unit is likely to overshoot its target of 4 percent for this year to March 2008.

-- Nippon Sheet Glass Co.

Nippon Sheet Glass on Friday sharply raised its net profit forecast for the year to March 2008 due to gains from its sale of auto and construction glass maker Pilkington Australasia.

The company said after the market close on Friday that it now expects to post a group net profit of 35-45 billion yen, up from its prior forecast for a 15 billion yen profit. It left its pretax and sales forecasts unchanged.

-- Mitsui Chemicals Inc.

Mitsui Chemicals will spend about 20 billion yen to build a factory in Singapore by summer 2009 to produce polyolefin elastomer, a resin used to make auto bumpers and other products, the Nikkei business daily reported on Sunday.

-- NCo.

Nissan hopes new models will boost its vehicle sales in China this year by more than a third, its China president said on Sunday.

-- Taisei Corp. and other builders Japan's infrastructure ministry suspended 55 construction companies Friday from its tenders as designated bidders for up to four months to punish them for their involvement in bid-rigging over defence facility projects, Kyodo News reported on Friday.

The 55 included Taisei, Kajima Corp. and Obayashi Corp., Kyodo said.

Reuters SBA VP0512

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