Nikkei seen gaining for 4th day after U.S. jobs data

TOKYO (BestGrowthStock) – Japan’s Nikkei average is expected to gain for a fourth day on Monday after data showing fewer-than-expected U.S. job losses bolstered optimism that the economy would not fall back into recession.

Nikkei futures traded in Chicago closed at 9,185.0, up 0.9 percent from the Osaka close. The benchmark Nikkei (.N225: ) rose 1.4 percent last week for its biggest weekly gain in nearly two months. It has recovered about 3 percent this month following a 7.5 percent slide in August.

“The Nikkei will likely extend gains after extreme pessimism over the outlook for the U.S. economy receded after the jobs data,” said Hiroichi Nishi, general manager of equity marketing at Nikko Cordial Securities.

“But it will then probably be range-bound as the yen remains on the strong side, with eyes on moves in the currency market.”

The Bank of Japan’s two-day rate view that ends on Tuesday is a focus in the market this week.

“The central bank will likely keep the status quo as worries about the U.S. economy have receded, but the BOJ governor’s briefing afterwards is a major focus,” Nishi said.

The benchmark Nikkei (.N225: ) is likely to move between 9,050 and 9,250 on Monday, market players said.

The Nikkei rose 0.6 percent on Friday to 9,114.13.

The next target for the index is seen at 9,240, around its 25-day moving average, and then 9,273, a level of the kijun-sen on its daily Ichimoku charts. The kijun-sen is an indicator of medium-term trends that can be either support or resistance. Ichimoku charts are popular with Japanese traders.

After that, market players eye 9,280 and then 9,360, highs hit in late August.

U.S. stocks (Read more about the stock market today. ) added more than 1 percent on Friday. U.S. payrolls fell for a third straight month in August, the Labor Department said, but the loss of 54,000 non-farm jobs was far less than the 100,000 expected by economists polled by Reuters, and private hiring surprised on the upside.

STOCKS TO WATCH

— Panasonic (6752.T: )

Panasonic plans to increase its Indonesian production capacity for lithium batteries by 70 percent, the Nikkei business daily said.

The company intends to spend about 5 billion yen ($59.3 million) to construct a building at its factory in West Java province and raise the factory’s annual output to 850 million units from 500 million units, the paper said.

— Suzuki Motor Corp (7269.T: )

Suzuki Motor is planning to build a new factory in India capable of producing more than 250,000 vehicles a year, the Nikkei business daily reported on Sunday.

— Mazda Motor Corp (7261.T: )

Mazda Motor is taking emergency cost-cutting steps to soften the impact of the rising yen on its fiscal 2010 profit target, the Nikkei business daily reported.

The automaker, which expects a 30-40 billion yen boost from these steps, will ask suppliers to cut costs by 3-5 percent, the Nikkei said.

— Toyota Motor Corp (7203.T: )

Toyota wants to keep building cars in Japan for domestic sales even though the yen’s recent rise is tough for business, the company president was quoted by a Japanese newspaper as saying on Saturday.

— NEC Corp (6701.T: )

NEC said on Friday it aims to halve the cost of making lithium-ion car batteries in seven years while doubling their performance, in a move that could help the electric vehicle market expand.

— Parco Co (8251.T: )

Japanese real estate developer Mori Trust said it may sell shares of affiliate department store operator Parco if its stock price climbs near the conversion price of its planned convertible bond issue.

(Reporting by Aiko Hayashi; Editing by Michael Watson)

Nikkei seen gaining for 4th day after U.S. jobs data