Nikkei seen up, but gains limited before weekend

TOKYO, Nov 26 (BestGrowthStock) – Japan’s Nikkei stock average is
likely to edge higher on Friday, continuing its bullish trend
since the start of the month as the dollar’s recovery against the
yen is expected to spur solid bargain-hunting demand.

Japanese stocks are expected to be well-supported following
gains in European stock markets, but investors are likely to
refrain from actively taking fresh positions as they want to see
how the U.S. shares move when market participants return from the
Thanksgiving holiday later in the day, traders said.

“The Nikkei could open slightly higher due the yen’s recent
falls, but in general trading is expected be thin today as people
don’t want to take more positions before the weekend,” said
Hiroichi Nishi, general manager at Nikko Cordial Securities.

“Based on the perception that there is ample liquidity in the
market, we are expected to see demand for Japanese stocks in a
wide variety of shares including small- and mid-cap shares.”

The Nikkei average (.N225: ) is expected to move in a range of
10,050 to 10,200 on Friday, traders said.

The Nikkei rose 0.5 percent to 10,079.76 the previous day,
supported by demand from overseas investors.

The Nikkei hit a five-month intraday high of 10,157.97 on
Monday, but has struggled to retest the high since then on views
that the market was overheating after seeing it rally almost 10
percent since the start of the month.

Investors were also expected to be hesitant about building up
more buy positions due to concerns over tensions on the Korean
peninsula and worries that debt problems in Ireland could spread
to other European countries such as Portugal and Spain.

But the Nikkei is likely to find solid bargain-hunting demand
at this week’s low of 9,904.92, which is also near the 200-moving
average, now at 9,915, traders said.

“Plenty of bargain-hunters are waiting to buy on dips, which
should keep Japanese shares generally well-supported,” a trader
at a Japanese securities house said.
———————-MARKET SNAPSHOT @ 2303 GMT ————

INSTRUMENT LAST PCT CHG NET CHG
S&P 500 (.SPX: ) 1198.35 1.49% 17.620
USD/JPY (JPY=: ) 83.64 0.05% 0.040
10-YR US TSY YLD (US10YT=RR: ) 2.912 — 0.000
SPOT GOLD (XAU=: ) 1373.99 -0.01% -0.130
US CRUDE (CLc1: ) 84.13 0.32% 0.270
DOW JONES (.DJI: ) 11187.28 1.37% 150.91
————————————————————-
> U.S. stock market closed for Thanksgiving holiday [.N]
> Euro soft but off 2-mth lows; dollar gains [USD/]
> U.S. bond market closed for Thanksgiving holiday [US/]
> Gold flat; Europe debt worries, Koreas support [GOL/]
> Oil inches up after big jump; Europe debt in focus [O/R]

STOCKS TO WATCH

–FamilyMart Co (8028.T: )

FamilyMart, Japanese convenience store operator, will freeze
its loss-making U.S. operation at just 10 stores as it assesses
its strategy, while its ambitious China expansion is proceeding
faster than planned, its president said on Thursday.
[ID:TOE6AO05U]

— Olympus Corp (7733.T: )

Olympus, Japanese camera and endoscope maker, said on
Thursday it would return its loss-making camera division to the
black in the year to March 2012 by offering new products and
boosting Chinese distribution. [ID:TOE6AO04S]

— Sony Corp (6758.T: ) (SME.N: )

Sony will re-enter Japan’s electronic book market and open an
online bookstore offering 20,000 titles, almost all in Japanese,
in time for the year-end shopping rush, it said on Thursday.
[ID:nTOE6AN08T]

–Elpida Memory (6665.T: )

Elpida said Japanese PC memory chip maker Elpida Memory
(6665.T: ) said on Thursday it plans to raise about 10.1 billion
yen ($120.9 million) by issuing Taiwan depositary receipts (TDRs)
to step up DRAM development. [ID:nTOE6AO05H]

— Sapporo Holdings (2501.T: )

Japanese brewer Sapporo plans to move into the South Korean
market through a sales tie-up with Maeil Dairy (005990.KQ: ), one
of the country’s biggest dairy companies, the Japanese firm said
on Thursday. [ID:nTOE6AO04X]

— Honda Motor Co (7267.T: )

Honda, Japan’s No.2 automaker, sees overall domestic
automobile sales declining by 20,000 units to 635,000 units for
the financial year to March 2012, the business daily Nikkei
reported on Friday.

Honda plans to have hybrids account for more than 20 percent
of its Japanese sales in the financial year, the newspaper said.
[ID:nWNAB5205]
(Reporting by Chikafumi Hodo; Editing by Chris Gallagher)

Nikkei seen up, but gains limited before weekend