Nikkei rises on options settlement, little quake impact

 * April Nikkei options seen settling at 9,612.51
 * Fast Retailing surges after raising outlook, boosts Nikkei
 By Antoni Slodkowski	
 TOKYO, April 8 (Reuters) - The Nikkei average rose on Friday
after April options prices settled higher than expected,
offsetting the impact of a major earthquake which rocked
northeast Japan the night before.	
 The market was also boosted by Fast Retailing , with
almost a 5 percent weighting in the market, which rose 6.3
percent to 11,830 yen in heavy trade after the operator of the
Uniqlo casual-clothing chain raised its annual
outlook.[ID:nL3E7F801W]	
 The quake's impact was seen limited as it did not trigger a
tsunami and there was no further damage to the crippled nuclear
power plant in Fukushima. [ID:nL3E7F72Y2]	
 Nikkei options contracts expiring in April likely settled at
9,612.51, Tokyo market participants said on Friday, citing
estimates by local brokerages. 	
 The closely watched settlement price, known in Japan as the
special quotation or "SQ", is calculated from the opening prices
of the 225 shares on the Nikkei average on the second
Friday of the month.       	
 "We saw a huge rebound after the earthquake, and the quake
happened on the day of the last month's SQ and I'm sure people
have already taken positions for April and there were many
market players who needed to get the SQ price above 9,500," said
Sunil Sadhwani, CEO of Hamabay Capital LLC.	
 "Once the SQ price was confirmed, we saw the market go back
up to 9,600. What's going to be really interesting is to see if
9,612 will become resistance, or if the market can clear this
level today and it will become its support area."	
 Sadhwani added he was looking at the 9,300-9,200 level as an
"absolute bottom" and said that if the benchmark index was to
fall below that line, another free-fall would be triggered.	
 By late morning trade the benchmark Nikkei index was
0.6 percent higher at 9,649.52, while the broader Topix index
 was up 0.4 percent.	
 The magnitude 7.4 quake was an aftershock to the
9.0-magnitude March 11 quake that devastated northeastern Japan
and knocked out the Fukushima plant, operated by Tokyo Electric
Power Co . [ID:nL3E7F72Y2]	
 Tokyo Electric, whose shares for the first time since the
quake were not the most actively traded on the Tokyo Stock
Exchange's main board by turnover, gaining 7.4 percent to 365
yen.	
 The utility said there was no further damage to the
Fukushima plant from the aftershock as it continues struggling
to contain radiation leaks.	
 GS Yuasa Corp jumped 5.5 percent to 558 yen after
the Nikkei business daily said it plans to supply lithium ion
batteries for electric vehicles to French automaker PSA Peugeot
Citroen SA. [ID:nL3E7F801W]	
 Separately, the Tokyo Stock Exchange said it will delay a
plan to extend trading hours from May 9 to reduce power
consumption as Japan seeks to cut electricity use in Tokyo and
northern prefectures ahead of peak summer demand.
[ID:nTKU000131]   	
	
 (Reporting by Antoni Slodkowski; Editing by Edmund Klamann)	
 	
 

Nikkei rises on options settlement, little quake impact