Nikkei edges up, buying from Asian investors cited

TOKYO, June 14(Reuters) – The Nikkei average edged up
slightly on Tuesday with market players citing sporadic buying
from Asian investors, though concerns about slower global growth
are expected to keep gains in check this week.
Shares of electric power companies jumped after the cabinet
approved a scheme to help Tokyo Electric Power
compensate people affected by the crisis at its crippled
Fukushima nuclear plant.
“Support at 9,400 seems solid. But with both the U.S. and
Chinese economy showing signs of losing momentum, the market
doesn’t have traction,” said Toshiyuki Kanayama, a market
analyst at Monex Securities.
The benchmark Nikkei rose 0.2 percent to 9,471.21
and the broader Topix edged up 0.2 percent to 814.13.
Buying from Asian investors and continued interest in small
cap shares from European investors over the past week supported
the market, a market player said.
The Nikkei has traded between 9,400 and 9,800 over the past
few months and analysts expect that range to hold for the next
few weeks, saying Tokyo shares still look attractive, trading
roughly at book value compared with around 2.1 times book value
for the benchmark S&P 500
Many market players are looking to Chinese data after
China’s exports to the United States and the European Union in
May had slumped to their weakest since late 2009, excluding
Lunar New Year holidays.
Chinese consumer inflation, industrial output and urban
investment data for May is due at 0200 GMT, and market players
are concerned that weak reading for output or a strong reading
for inflation could push Shanghai shares to eight-month
lows.
“If Shanghai shares fall on rising speculation about rate
hikes, that could dent Japanese shares too,” said Monex’s
Kanayama.
Shares of Tokyo Electric Power Co jumped 8.6
percent to 217 yen after Japan’s cabinet approved the
compensation scheme for the company.
But it remains uncertain when, or even if, the scheme will
be enacted into law, given the shaky political landscape under
lame-duck Prime Minister Naoto Kan, who has been unable to push
through several disaster-related bills in a divided parliament.

Other utilities also gained, with the electric and gas
subindex gaining 1.4 percent, becoming the top sector gainer on
the main board.