Nikkei seen coming off 6 month-high after U.S. jobs data

TOKYO (BestGrowthStock) – Japan’s Nikkei average is likely to slip from a six-month high hit last week, as concerns persist over the speed of a global recovery after worse-than-expected U.S. jobs data sent the dollar lower against the yen.

But losses are expected to be limited and the Nikkei is seen moving in a tight range, with many analysts viewing the weak employment report as an outlier amid the recent slew of generally positive U.S. data that suggested the economy was slowly gaining traction.

Reports that Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke is not ruling out expanding the central bank’s asset-buyback program provided a late boost to U.S. markets and are likely to bolster Tokyo shares.

The benchmark Nikkei futures in Chicago closed at 10,175.00, 0.2 percent below the Osaka close

“Investors are cautious after the index rose sharply over the short period of time,” said Hiroichi Nishi, general manager at Nikko Cordial Securities. The Nikkei has added 241 points, or 2.4 percent over the past three days.

The benchmark Nikkei (.N225: ), which hit a six-month high on Friday, is expected to move in a range of 10,050 to 10,200, traders said.

Nishi added that immediate resistance is around 10,250, which could encourage profit-taking on Monday.

Market players also said caution has set in ahead of next week’s closely watched settlement price, known in Japan as the special quotation or “SQ,” which is calculated from the opening prices of the 225 shares on the Nikkei average on the second Friday of the month.

Wall St ends best week in a month; more gains seen.

Euro rallies vs dollar but limited traction seen.

Jobs data lift short-dated debt, hurt long bond.

Gold rises above $1,400 on dollar drop, weak payrolls.

Oil soars to 2-year high on cold, weak dollar.

STOCKS TO WATCH:

— Toyota Motor Corp

Toyota has lowered its internal global production plans by around 200,000 units to 7.8 million vehicles for 2011 amid a sluggish recovery in U.S. sales, the Asahi daily reported on Sunday.

— Takeda Pharmaceutical Co

A pivotal trial of Seattle Genetics’ (SGEN.O: ) experimental cancer-targeting antibody for patients with Hodgkin’s lymphoma, which Takeda is co-developing, found that more than a third of them achieved complete remission of their cancer.

Also Orexigen Therapeutics’s (OREX.O: ) diet drug, the last of a trio of fat pills to face scrutiny this year, appears to help some people lose weight but heart risks and other issues are a concern, U.S. reviewers said in documents released on Friday.

Takeda is Orexigen’s marketing partner for the drug. Orexigen’s shares fell on the mixed review.

— Honda Motor Co

The carmaker reached a basic agreement this week to dissolve its partnership in India’s Hero Honda Motors Ltd (HROH.BO: ), the Nikkei business daily reported on Saturday.

— Mitsui & Co

Mitsui & Co, Japan’s No.2 trading firm, said on Friday it will delist its American Depositary Receipts (ADR) traded on the U.S. Nasdaq exchange and remove itself from Securities and Exchange Commission oversight.

— Nissan Motor Co

Nissan formally launched its zero emissions Leaf vehicle on Friday, an electric car boasting a range of 200 kms (124 miles) and billed as the first of its type to be sold on a large scale.

(Reporting by Antoni Slodkowski and Ayai Tomisawa; Editing by Edwina Gibbs)

Nikkei seen coming off 6 month-high after U.S. jobs data